Face masks have become a common feature of life during Covid-19 lockdown.
In some countries, such as the UK, they’re only legally necessary when you’re on public transport. In other places, they’re mandated at all times outside of your own house.
Some people seem to take issue with that. A Facebook group called the Freedom to Breathe Agency has been making “Face Mask Exempt” cards for people, which look official and are supposed to give the wearer ‘exemption’ from wearing a face mask under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Keep on the lookout for these cards. They are used as an intimidation tool to scare business owners into letting pe… https://t.co/wkIH6uazxs
The card is not official – although it features a Department of Justice logo, as well as a “reporting number”. It seems as though these ‘cards’ would be used if people were told that they couldn’t enter a store without a mask on.
The Freedom to Breathe Agency Facebook group has, according to the Daily Dot, been pushing conspiracy theories around the use of face masks during this pandemic. Members decided to take matters into their own hands and make these cards, which are riddled with inaccuracies.
These cards also claim that organisations and businesses can be fined $75,000 for refusing an individual entry and $150,000 for any further instances. None of this is true.
The Freedom to Breathe Agency has also set up a website with PDFs that you can download to distribute, although it’s worth emphasising that these PDFs and flyers have no legal value and are more of a way of intimidating people. There are no 'exemption' cards for face masks in the US, in general.
The Department of Justice has since released a statement saying that they were aware of the issue and were looking into it, and pointing out that these posts as well as the cards themselves were not issued by the DoJ themselves.
Earlier this week at a public hearing in Palm Beach, Florida, furious locals spread conspiracy theories and excused officials of turning their backs on God after wearing masks in public was made mandatory.