We are now seeing an increasing number of prosecutions for the selling for false vaccine cards as a huge number of reported fake cards flood the country. This week we also saw an arrest for the use of such cards at an airport. NBC Miami reported that Enzo and Daniela Dalmazzo were arrested when they tried to fly to Hawaii. What is notable about the case is why they were spotted.
As cities like New York enforce vaccine mandates, many of us have raised concerns over the logistics in using bars and restaurants as the gatekeepers for vaccine enforcement. There are reports of widely available false cards, including some being shipped from China. That is hardly surprising since the CDC card is a plain, easily reproduced design. There is little ability for anyone to tell a fake from a genuine copy.
The Dalmazzos were spotted because they produced such cards not just for themselves but their young child. The children are too young to have had vaccinations. Otherwise, they would presumably have been allowed to proceed into Hawaii, which requires proof of vaccination for travelers who want to avoid quarantine.
The couple now faces misdemeanor charges with the potential for a fine, year in prison or both. However, with millions of such cards floating around, it is doubtful that state and local officials could process the vast numbers of violators even if they could be detected. In addition, if real enforcement leads to hundreds of thousands of arrests, courts are likely to reflect the ubiquitous violations as reason to lower sentences.
Moreover, bars, restaurants, or movie theaters have little incentive or ability to challenge a card that otherwise appears genuine. That creates a problem if the much touted vaccine mandates are easily avoided. Those with fears of exposure will likely avoid such businesses if they cannot rely on the mandate. That in turn could lead to a greater percentage of customers who are part of the stealth unvaccinated population — further deterring the vaccinated from venturing out.
Another challenge for mandate jurisdictions are reports indicating that some 30 percent of new cases in cities like Los Angeles are among the vaccinated. That will challenge the pitch that this is a surge of the unvaccinated and could further frustrate efforts to convince non-vacs to get the shot. Even as a move from reasoned consent to induced consent to coerced consent, the non-vacs are still not moving to be vaccinated in significant numbers. Stories that variants like Lambda are vaccine resistant will further undermine such efforts.