The “face mask exemption” cards gaining popularity on social media that claim to offer government-sanctioned immunity from wearing coronavirus masks in public are fake, the Department of Justice is warning.
As CNN reported, images circulating on social media purportedly show cards that allow the holder to be exempt from wearing a mask in public, which is now required from many state and local governments. The cards claim that the person has been granted an exemption from the Americans with Disabilities Act and show a seal from the Department of Justice.
A website for the ADA’s Information and Technical Assistance posted a note warning that despite how the post makes it appear, there is no endorsement from the government and no such thing as an “exemption” from wearing a mask in public.
“The Department of Justice has been made aware of postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the Department of Justice’s seal,” the notice read. “These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department.”
The page then directed people to only go by the information contained in the ADA’s official postings and its website, directing those with questions or in need of technical assistance to call the ADA directly.
Public health experts have called on all Americans to wear masks whenever they are in public or in situations where they are unable to practice social distancing, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance recommending mask-wearing as well. As The Inquisitr reported, a study from the University of California at Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute in conjunction with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that coronavirus cases could plummet if just 80 percent of Americans would wear masks whenever they are in public.
Some have pushed back against state and local requirements to wear masks, with some protests claiming that the laws are unconstitutional and a government overreach.
But there are some exceptions to those recommended to wear masks. The CDC noted that there are some people who should not wear masks, including children under the age of two and people with breathing problems. It also noted that people who are unable to remove their masks without assistance, including those who are incapacitated or disabled, are not recommended to wear them.