On Thursday, New Orleans announced that anyone wanting to enter a bar, restaurant, gym, or concert will have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test, WDSU reports. On Friday, customs officers said they had intercepted a shipment of fake cards on their way to the city. The 51 cards came from China, Department of Homeland Security officials said, and were seized at a port in Memphis, one of 15 shipments caught in one night. The packages aren't hidden inside something else or otherwise concealed, officials said. "Sometimes the manifests describe the shipments as 'Paper Greeting Cards/Use For-Greeting Card,'" a DHS statement said, "sometimes they are 'PAPER PAPER CARD,' but they are always from China." The cards are "low quality," officials said, complete with typos and misspellings.
A KXAN investigation found that people in Texas aren't bothering to hide their illegal searches for phony proof of vaccination. A group on the Telegram app, "Fake Vaccine Cards," has more than 70,000 subscribers. One person advertised the cards with misinformation, posting: "Watch out and stay away from the vaccine its [sic] poisonous. Get your cards without taking the vaccine and stay safe." Gov. Greg Abbott has prohibited coronavirus restrictions at businesses, but some places are imposing them anyway. Offers of a fake card show up on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media, sometimes for around $150. A seller on Ebay told KXAN that people want cards for different reasons, but all are opposed to the vaccines. "People are losing jobs because they have a fear of taking the shot," he said. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)