Amidst the growing calls for new pandemic-related restrictions, State Representative Anthony Sabatini is calling for a special session to be held to ban vaccine and mask mandates in Florida.
With the state experiencing an increase in cases, along with Monday’s record-breaking hospitalizations, growing calls to implement statewide COVID-19 restrictions have intensified, with many laying the blame at the feet of Governor Ron DeSantis. Despite the finger-pointing, DeSantis has remained steadfast in his approach to the lingering pandemic. Last week, DeSantis signed an executive order directing the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and Department of Health (FDOH) to issue emergency rules protecting the rights of parents to decide whether their children will wear masks when the school year begins.
Amid the nationwide surge — brought on by the delta variant — Sabatini is also drawing a line in the sand against the renewed push to require Floridians to mask up and get vaccinated. The outspoken Howey-in-the-Hills Republican, who filed to run for Florida’s 7th Congressional District earlier this year, is “demanding” GOP leadership place a special session on the docket to put an end to mask and vaccine mandates.
“I’m officially demanding Governor Ron DeSantis, Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate call a special session for the purpose of totally banning vaccine and mask mandates that are being issued by woke corporations and radical local governments,” Sabatini said in a Tuesday press release.” We are perpetually scaring Floridians by forcing them to virtue signal to fear, rather than listening to the science and data. In times like these, we need rational thought leaders, not knee-jerk reactionaries who want to control our every move. I’m asking all elected officials in Florida to join me to protect the next generation.”
Apart from calling on GOP leadership to hold a special session to hash out restrictions related to COVID-19, Sabatini also started a petition, urging legislators to reconvene and “STOP woke corporations and lawless governments from mandated tyranny!”
It’s time for a legislative session to BAN all mask and vaccine mandates NOW!
Sign the official petition if you support!￼👇 https://t.co/ctuyrhfYPn
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) August 3, 2021
Sabatini is not shy in his disdain for restrictions brought on by the pandemic. The Republican lawmaker fought local mask mandates in the courts throughout the pandemic, and engaged in the occasional sparring match against other elected officials who’ve endorsed the such methods.
The Capitolist reached out to the Governor’s Office and legislature for comment. In an email, the Senate Office stated that President Wilton Simpson supports the action taken by DeSantis last week to preserve parental choice about vaccines in schools, but didn’t hint at a special session taking place to tackle COVID-19 mandates.
“When it comes to mask mandates in our schools, parents need to be involved in the decision for their children. I trust Florida parents to evaluate all of the information available and make the best decision about whether or not their children will be wearing a mask when they return to school next month. I’m grateful to Governor DeSantis for his strong and steady leadership at every stage of the Covid-19 Pandemic and appreciate his leadership on this issue, which is so important to many families across our state,” the statement read.
The Governor’s Office and House did not provide a comment.