Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) is facing a backlash online after appearing Wednesday on CNN to argue against mask mandates, which are intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Sabatini told CNN host Brianna Keilar that mask mandates were a violation of Florida’s constitution. “This is something government has never done before. We’ve never had government telling people what you have to do with your own face,” he said.
“This is truly a novel move for government and we think it violates the bodily and facial autonomy sort of implied parts of [Florida constitution’s] privacy clause,” continued Sabatini, who has faced criticism for being pictured in blackface. “We think it violates the due process clause, because it is an arbitrary and irrational law.”
Sabatini contended that mask mandates were different than seatbelt laws because “they are literally everywhere you go.”
After Keilar noted the explosion of coronavirus cases in his state, Sabatini accused her of “harping” on a single metric. “Cases, cases, cases. The media is almost exclusively focused on this one number versus the two most important numbers, obviously, hospitalizations and fatalities… If we focus on the two more relevant metrics, Florida’s doing just fine.”
“You think Florida is doing just fine?” Keilar asked incredulously.
Later in the interview, Sabatini said he “absolutely” does not wear a mask when he visits the grocery store.
Viewers of the interview took to Twitter to praise Keilar and criticize Sabatini. See some reactions below:
@CNN Breanna Keilar is my new hero. Anthony Sabatini = SERVED! 🥇
— Annie Alpaca (@AnnieAlpaca) July 15, 2020
Loved watching her and Sabatini sounded absolutely ridiculous…what a clown.
— jaysullivanDC (@jaysullivanDC) July 15, 2020
Anthony Sabatini on CNN telling the world that Florida’s doing just fine as cases rise, hospitals near capacity, and people die:
“Epicenter??? No way!” pic.twitter.com/Gme9KyosuS
— Tony Rich (@T__Rizzle_51) July 15, 2020
What a moron, Anthony Sabatini in Florida doesn't wear a mask in the grocery store. Republican Lawmaker. Residents are trying to sue over a mandate to wear a mask. He says Florida is doing just fine. Wow
— Paul Conners (@PaulConners1) July 15, 2020
— C.L.Mihalopoulos ♍️ (@Christine_OnAir) July 15, 2020
— #Defundthepolice (@profjalewis) July 15, 2020
This is Anthony Sabatini,a FL rep that just made a total ass out of himself on a CNN interview. A look at his tweets tells you everything. pic.twitter.com/4Wp5IT8dqZ
— b bright (@BrightCocker) July 15, 2020
anthony sabatini is a complete and utter moron.#CNN My sympathy, Brianna.
— ❄️🕊️ Sasha C. Airesse 🕊️❄️ (@SashaCAiresse) July 15, 2020
What an impressing job from @brikeilarcnn a few minutes ago when interviewing Rep. Sabatini (FL), keeping a cool, professional demeanor and just managed to let this guy dismantle himself #CNN #COVIDIOT
— mavorba (@mavorba) July 15, 2020