LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau and the U.S. Department of Justice are all warning about fraudulent 'Face Mask Exempt' cards.
The fraudulent cards claim to exempt individuals from wearing face coverings, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act and using the DOJ's logo. However the DOJ said they did not issue these cards nor endorse them.
"The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations," the DOJ said.
The cards also feature the logo for an organization called "Freedom to Breathe," which was offering free downloads of the cards on their website.
“These groups are trying to spread misinformation about the use of face coverings, and the unfortunate outcome is that they are also endangering the lives of many people,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Business owners should understand that these face mask exempt cards are fake, and people should continue to wear face coverings unless the individual is unable medically to tolerate one.”
In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday mandating the use of masks in public indoor spaces and crowded outdoor environments where social distancing is not allowed. However, there is an exemption for people who can't medically tolerate wearing one.
Violators of the order will face a misdemeanor and a $500 fine. Under the order, businesses are also required to deny entry or service to those who aren't wearing masks.
“This group, along with others, are attempting to pass themselves off as government agencies and are using fear as their tactic to get businesses to comply with their demands,” said Melanie Duquesnel, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan & the Upper Peninsula. “We all need to be doing our part by wearing a mask in public unless one is, truthfully, medically unable to do so.”
Widespread use of face masks in public settings will help reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC.
More stories on 13 ON YOUR SIDE:
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.