A Tampa-area man lost his job at a marketing and web design company after a TikTok user exposed his video advertising a fake COVID-19 vaccine card business.
Why it matters: Without an official database for verifying vaccinations, those little pieces of paper are currently the best source of proving vaccination status — and vaccines remain our best chance to reach herd immunity.
The state of play: James Koncar's fake vaccination card video — which included the caption "F*ck masks" — was highlighted by Mississippi pharmacist Savannah Malm, who has posted other viral call-out videos linked to the pandemic.
- Malm also showed Koncar's LinkedIn profile and several other TikToks where he used misogynistic and racist language.
- Just six hours after Malm's post on Friday, Tampa marketing company Thirteen05 announced it had fired Koncar, who lives in Wesley Chapel, according to a public records search.
- Thirteen05 declined interviews with Axios and Koncar could not be reached for comment. He has since deleted his LinkedIn.
What she's saying: "Over a year into this pandemic, we do not have the time to coddle these people," Malm told Axios.
- "We don’t have time to joke. Patient safety and public health are not a joke. Over 500,000 people dead is not a joke. Creating vaccine skepticism when this could end the pandemic is not a joke. If you’re going to post it on social media, I’m going to respond on social media," she added.
- Malm told Axios she took down her TikTok at the request of Thirteen05, but it has since been reposted on Twitter. She said she's received death threats since she started posting her videos.
Where it stands: Koncar has not been charged with any crimes as of Monday.
- Tampa Police and Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials both said they have not charged anyone with crimes related to forging vaccine cards.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to note that Koncar’s LinkedIn was deleted. Axios is attempting to verify whether other social media profiles belong to him.
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