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Faking Vaccine Status, Mask “Exemptions” Are The Hot New Cottage Industries

Faking Vaccine Status, Mask “Exemptions” Are The Hot New Cottage Industries

Faking your way out of actually getting a COVID-19 vaccine or wearing a face mask are the new growth industries in the United States as the Delta variant of the coronavirus puts thousands of the unvaccinated into hospitals and onto ventilators. People determined to cheat the system have become almost as ubiquitous in the media as Dr. Anthony Fauci and many of them are religious figures, doctors and public officials.

There’s an Oregon school superintendent who is telling parents how they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing a federal disability law. In California a megachurch pastor is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements. And then there’s Louisiana’s attorney general, who went so far as to post sample letters on his office’s Facebook page for those seeking to get around his own governor’s mask rules.

Proponents of these “workarounds” say they are looking out for children’s health and parents’ rights. Others say such stratagems are dishonest and irresponsible.

Mask and vaccine requirements vary from state to state but often allow exemptions for certain medical conditions or religious or philosophical objections.

In Oregon, Superintendent Marc Thielman of the Alsea School District told parents they can sidestep the governor’s school mask requirement by applying for an accommodation for their children under federal disabilities law. Thielman said he hit upon the idea after the governor’s mandate generated “huge, huge pushback” from parents.

“The majority of my parents are skeptical and are no longer believing what they’re told” about COVID-19, said Thielman, whose district in the state’s coastal mountains begins classes Monday. “I’ve got a majority of my parents saying, ‘Are there any options?’ “

Brown has mandated masks in schools and vaccinations for all school staff amid a surge in infections that is clobbering Oregon. The state has broken its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations day after day, and cases among children have increased dramatically.

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In a letter to educators this past week, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown said she was shocked that Thielman was undermining her policies by “instructing students to lie” about having a disability.

Samuel from Massachusetts holds his vaccine card as he has lunch in a restaurant in New York’s Upper West Side on August 17, 2021, the first day where you have to show proof of having a Covid-19 vaccination to participate in indoor dining. – The vaccine mandate also includes indoor gyms, and all indoor entertainment in New York City. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards now are easy to acquire for anyone with a smartphone. The fake cards are easy to find and cheap to acquire for anyone with a Telegram messaging app account and a little cryptocurrency. The cards typically cost about $100 each, according to new research from Check Point, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity firm. Reminder: the COVID-19 vaccine is free.

There seems to be plenty of interest in fake cards. The number of followers of Telegram groups offering vaccination credentials has soared 566% since early 2021. The number of fake vaccination card vendors on Telegram and WhatsApp jumped 257%. Over 2,500 Telegram groups now selling fake vaccine cards have over 100,000 followers, and some groups are approaching half a million, according a CBS News report.

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