Dear Friends:

As you know, for two years now we have lived under the most serious public health threat of our lifetimes. The coronavirus and its variants have spread quickly, causing serious illness throughout the population. Cases range from temporary illness, to long-term or even permanent health problems, to the very loss of life.

While vaccinations and other healthy practices have limited the spread of the viruses and reduced the severity of infections, the presence of unvaccinated people in public is a life-and-death concern for people who are medically vulnerable or unable to get vaccinated due to health issues. I can’t imagine a worse time for someone to falsify proof of a vaccination against these rapidly spreading viruses.

That’s why I am sponsoring legislation to make it a crime for people to sell or present false proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. Under Senate Bill 5667, it would be a class C felony to sell false documentation of a vaccination and it would be a misdemeanor to try to use it to enter a premises that requires proof of vaccination.

The need for this legislation is simple: People who need or want to avoid exposure to the coronavirus deserve to know that documentation of a vaccination can be trusted. When they go into a store or other facility that requires proof of vaccination, they should not be exposed to people who lie their way in with false documents.

My legislation is strictly about truth in advertising and honest documentation. It does not propose mandates or address whether vaccinations should be required at workplaces or at public venues. SB 5667 focuses solely on whether a vaccination document has been knowingly falsified.

This is a serious problem. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized thousands of fraudulent vaccination cards at international mail facilities and at express consignment facilities, as just one example of the scope of this criminal activity. My bill can make Washingtonians safer.