No, the Department of Justice isn't handing out 'face mask exempt' cards

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Saturday, June 27, 2020
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The cards say "I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public" but have not been authorized by the DOJ as they say they have.

The U.S. Attorney of the Middle District of North Carolina is telling the public to be aware regarding fraudulent postings, cards, or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the United States Department of Justice's seal.

One of the cards says "I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public."

The postings, cards, and flyers were not issued by the Department of Justice and are not endorsed by the Department.

"Do not be fooled by the chicanery and misappropriation of the DOJ eagle," said U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin. "These cards do not carry the force of law. The 'Freedom to Breathe Agency,' or 'FTBA,' is not a government agency."

North Carolina's face mask mandate goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m.

The Governor's mask mandate will be enforceable; retail stores, supermarkets, construction sites, manufacturing plants, meat processing facilities, personal care businesses and restaurants will all be susceptible to citations and other penalties if all employees-- and their customers-- are not wearing a face covering.

There are exceptions including children under 11 and people with certain medical conditions.