Face mask exemption cards are fake, Delaware health officials warn
DOVER, Del. – It’s the latest coronavirus scam. Fake cards circulating online through the Freedom To Breathe Agency, or FTBA, that exempts people from wearing face masks or coverings in public.
“This is definitely concerning because we don’t recognize that as an official document. They’re cards that supposedly gives them, the cardholder, the right not to wear a mask,” said Medical Director, for the Delaware Division of Public Health, Dr. Rick Hong.
The face mask exempt card, which has been making its way through Delaware says, “Wearing a face mask poses a mental and/or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), I am not required to disclose my condition to you.” But now both the Department of Justice and Delaware Division of Public Health are firing back.
“We want to share with the public as well as business owners as well as other stakeholders that these cards are not recognized by the Division of Public Health or the state of Delaware,” said Dr. Hong.
Dr. Hong tells 47 ABC the Division of Public health was made aware that some of these cards were being used in the state, which poses a major health threat.
“The virus is truly still a threat in the community. You’re really cheating yourself and everyone around you if you think that this is a way to get out of wearing a mask or face covering because you’re exposing others to potentially COVID-19.”
So the question now becomes, can face masks actually pose a threat to your health?
“There are some situations, medically speaking, where the mask or face covering could cause some health risks, and that’s why we ask the public to talk to your providers. I just don’t want the public to use this as a reason or an excuse not to wear a face mask or covering and think that you’re kind of beating the system,” said Dr. Hong.
And as for what you should do if you come across a person with one of these cards?
“We just want them to be aware that it is not recognized or accepted and they should just politely inform the cardholder that we don’t recognize this form of documentation,” said Dr. Hong.
In a statement regarding the cards, the Department of Justice said, “Do not be fooled by the chicanery and misappropriation of the DOJ eagle. These cards do not carry the force of law. The ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency,’ or ‘FTBA,’ is not a government agency.”