State Capitol police seize fake COVID vaccine cards at anti-vaccine rally

Photo of Julia Bergman

HARTFORD — State Capitol Police seized a box of dozens of fake COVID vaccination cards at an anti-vaccination rally that drew 4,000 people to the grounds of the Capitol Tuesday.

The sky-blue cards were on a section of pavement on the east side of the Capitol building, not far from a statue of the American Revolution hero, Col. Thomas Knowlton, in a small Staples box marked, “Lost your card?”

Officer Scott Driscoll, a spokesman for the Capitol police, said just after 6 p.m. Tuesday that his agency turned over the investigation to the Department of Health and Human Services. No one was immediately arrested in connection to the incident.

A person improperly using or creating a fake vaccine card can be charged with a federal misdemeanor for unlawful use of a government seal, an HHS investigator said.

Legitimate vaccination cards, which feature the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emblem, are given by providers when they administer the vaccine.

Posters surrounding the box of cards pointed to some of the reasons people turned out Tuesday ahead of the state Senate’s vote on a proposal to remove the religious exemption for traditional vaccines for public school children. One read: “Medical Freedom NOT Medical Tyranny” Another: “Your opinion is not my medical mandate.”

At least for a period of time in the late afternoon, no person was holding or actively distributing the cards but some participants at the rally picked up cads.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has warned of fake vaccination cards being sold on sites such as Twitter, eBay, and Shopify. Tong and 44 of his counterparts wrote a letter to the CEOs of the companies saying the cards pose a threat to public health and safety.

Businesses and entertainment venues across the country have begun to require proof of vaccination to enter.

Julia.bergman@hearstmediact.com