The black market for fake vaccine cards appears to be booming as more businesses, universities, federal and local governments demand evidence of vaccination against COVID-19.
Since August 16, US Customs authorities in Cincinnati, Ohio have intercepted five shipments, including 1,683 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and 2,034 fake Pfizer vaccination stickers. New York and Texas.
In August, a Chicago pharmacist was arrested after being accused of selling dozens of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination cards on eBay. In July, a naturopathic doctor in Northern California was arrested for selling fake COVID-19 immunotherapy and a fake vaccine card.
“A kind of fraud”
Legal experts compare fake vaccine cards to counterfeit money and fake driver’s licenses.
“This is a kind of fraud,” says Wesley Oliver, a law professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “There is another theory that you are stealing their insignia from the government and their permit that you are actually vaccinated, and both are different styles of the same crime.”
President Joe Biden recently called on all companies with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 once a week. Global cybersecurity companies have reported that the price of fake vaccine cards and the number of people selling them has skyrocketed since Biden announced mandatory vaccines in early September.
According to Boston University professor Christopher Robertson, he pretends to be vaccinated and violates the rights of others.
“Part of a free enterprise system is deciding where you want to go, with whom and under what conditions, so it really is the physical integrity of everyone else, their safety, and It’s an invasion of knowing that you can safely enter where you need vaccination evidence, “says Robertson. “This is similar to a battery in that it exposes someone to the risk that they did not agree to be exposed.”
Put others at risk
Last month, 15 people in New York were charged with buying and selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards. A woman named @AntiVaxMomma on Instagram has been charged with selling 250 fake vaccination certificates for about $ 200 each. A second suspect, a 27-year-old clinic worker, allegedly charged an additional $ 250 to enter data for at least 10 fake vaccines into the New York immune database. Some of the people accused of buying fake cards are front-line medical and essential workers.
The idea that healthcare professionals tamper with vaccination status scares Diana Martinez, a cancer patient living in California. She is one of the millions of Americans with impaired immune systems, which makes it difficult for her body to fight the disease.
She is afraid of the idea of taking the elevator with an unmasked, unvaccinated person.
“They don’t understand what they look like to me. It’s like someone jumping in with a loaded gun,” says Martinez. “They may have infected me for just a few moments when I was about to get up on the doctor’s floor. They ended my life because my immune system was so endangered. It may have been.
Martinez can be particularly vulnerable because the COVID-19 vaccine may not be very effective in people with a suppressed immune system. For example, Martinez’s doctors have found that patients with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, do not respond as well to healthy people to mRNA vaccines such as those produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
“We found that in vaccinated patients, 45% responded normally, 22% responded, and 33% did not respond,” said founder and founder of the Myeloma Institute. Dr. James Berenson, the director, said. Bone cancer research in West Hollywood, California.
Berenson added that the list of people with weakened immunity includes “elderly people, people receiving immunosuppressive therapy such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis, immunity. Includes those who are trying to weaken. ” system. “
Penalty “wide latitude”
According to Oliver, for a suspect charged with buying or selling a fake vaccination certificate, the judge will make sure to find out who was victimized by the suspect’s crime.
“Basically, people buy the right to endanger the lives of others, which is not what we usually see in criminal law,” says Oliver. “The real harm you have done is to pose a risk to the population, and for most crimes, the degree of harm you create, or the risk of physical harm, is part of the sentencing system.”
This can mean that healthcare professionals or people working in nursing homes involved in buying and selling counterfeit vaccine cards may face worse penalties.
“The more people at risk, the more vulnerable they are. Obviously, you will be sentenced more severely,” Oliver says.
The integrity of the entire vaccination card system is at stake, says Robertson.
“It’s like counterfeiting money. If half of all the currencies in circulation were actually counterfeit, no one could trust that currency at all,” he says. “When we detect it, we really have to drop the hammer and reveal its deterrent signal to the general public. We’re not messing around and life is at stake. It has been.”
Judges have a great deal of freedom when it comes to judgments. According to Oliver, they consider both the physical and financial harm caused by the perpetrator in making decisions. He estimates that if convicted, vaccine card counterfeiters could face up to 20 years in prison from probation.
Berenson wants the judge to give severe punishment that encourages people in the wider community to focus on the big picture beyond themselves.
“We are all together. It’s not about you — it’s about the greater good. You need to think about the greater good,” says the cancer doctor. “So, if you get vaccinated, we can get rid of this. And if you actually wear a mask and are socially distant, there is no place for the virus to go. Otherwise, this will continue for years. ”
Orders bring rise to the fast-growing black market for fake vaccine cards
Source link Orders bring rise to the fast-growing black market for fake vaccine cards