This Is Mask Haters' Most Nefarious Hoax Yet - 2020-07-23
Face mask haters often don't trust the federal government, whether it's top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that hasn't stopped some of them from pretending to be part of the same system.
A fake CDC notice, complete with a photoshopped CDC letterhead, is the latest anti-masking hoax making the rounds on social media. The forgery, which often takes the form of a picture of a printed-out CDC bulletin, falsely claims that the agency does not recommend people wear N95 respirator masks to protect themselves from COVID-19. The hoax comes after months of politicized debate over masks, with some opponents faking health issues or citing non-existent legal guidelines in order to avoid wearing personal protective equipment.
The fake CDC document, the earliest iterations of which appear to have been uploaded this month, has spread across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and more specialized websites like a hunting forum. Many of the meme's largest audiences came from already-fringe circles, like a podcast that traffics in conspiracy theories and Twitter users who believe in QAnon.