The Department of Justice has officially warned against fake cards that provide a medically exempt status from wearing face masks, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. Images of the cards have been circulating on social media for several days, now the department's civil rights division has issued a statement online in response to those using the cards in an attempt to subvert the rules about face mask requirements.
"These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department," the statement read, in part. "The Department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings and to visit ADA.gov for ADA information issued by the Department." N*SYNC alum Lance Bass also posted an image of the badges in Twitter as a warning to fellow businesses. Bass called the cards "what happens when Arts and Crafts Karens have too much time on their hands."
HEADS UP fellow businesses.... This is not a thing. This is what happens when Arts and Crafts Karens have too much time on their hands. We will throw it in the trash and send them on their way. pic.twitter.com/VKACSA3pRU— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) June 24, 2020
There are also two noteworthy typos on the card. First, it refers to a clause in the Americans with Disability Act, which isn't the proper name. It also misspells the word "possess" in its claim that the holder has a "mental and/or physical risk" when it comes to mask-wearing. This also means that the related fines, between $75,000 and $150,000, are false and unenforceable.
Interestingly, the card does have the correct phone number of the ADA hotline. Although it prominently mentions the FTB Agency, which stands for Freedom To Breathe. The Facebook-based group that believes wearing a mask to help slow the spread of coronavirus is an affront to personal liberty and widely disputes businesses that require them.
Currently, coronavirus cases are seeing a dramatic rise in many states, with Florida likely the new epicenter. Health officials have primarily blamed all this on re-opening too early and the absence of face masks. Former California Arnold Schwarzenegger, who's been actively posting helpful PSAs throughout the pandemic, has called anyone who refuses to wear a mask for political reasons an "absolute moron who can't read."