LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Acadiana’s Better Business Bureau is alerting people of a fake card or flyer that supposedly gives the bearer an exemption from wearing face masks in local establishments.
The warning was initially issued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which does not endorse the cards. They’re being circulated by the Freedom to Breathe Agency, which claims the holder is lawfully exempt from wearing a mask endorsed by the American with Disabilites Act. The DOJ reports that the card holds no legal validity. The card has a copy of the DOJ’s eagle logo.
Health experts and the DOJ are also urging the public not to believe the claim that wearing a mask will incur mental or physical risk, as described by the exemption card being distributed online. The information on the card also claims that the Americans with Disabilities Act forbids asking about the cardholder’s health condition aggravated by wearing a mask. The card threatens that if questions are asked, financial penalties of up to $75,000 or higher can be levied.
An official alert from the Department of Justice and the American With Disabilities Act states that they are not the distributors nor endorse the information on these cards that are being distributed by the group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the wearing of a face mask when going out in public as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19, along with social distancing and hand washing. The CDC has several tips regarding ways to stay healthy.