Sabatini to CNN: “we’ve never had government tell you what to do with your own face”

by | Jul 15, 2020

Appearing in a nationally televised interview Wednesday, Republican State Representative Anthony Sabatini defended lawsuits he’s filed against local governments that are requiring their residents to wear masks inside places of business.

Fielding loaded questions from CNN’s Brianna Keilar, Sabatini lambasted the face-covering order being adopted by several counties across Florida, calling such orders broad and in violation of the state’s equal protection clause.

“We do believe it is unconstitutional,” Sabatini told Keilar. “We have a very robust privacy clause here in the state of Florida, in our state constitution, and it’s supposed to protect all sorts of private information and liberty when it comes to a person.”

“This is something government’s never done before. We’ve never had government tell you what to do with your own face,” he continued.

While the discussion was supposed to center around the overreaching emergency orders and the hefty penalties attached to them, Keilar embraced “gotcha journalism” tactics, asserting false assumptions and pseudointellectual talking points in an effort to corner the Howey-in-the-Hills conservative.

Sabatini, however, didn’t take the bait, refuting much of Keilar’s talking points while calling out the media’s myopic focus on one singular stat: confirmed cases.

“Brianna, I think what you’re doing is what a lot of folks in the media have done which is harped exclusively on one metric, namely cases,” Sabatini pushed back. “The media has almost exclusively focused on this one number versus the two most important numbers — obviously, hospitalizations and fatalities.”

“If we focus on the two most relevant metrics, Florida is doing fine,” he continued.

Besides cutting the Republican lawmaker off and interrupting his rebuttal numerous times, Keilar also tried to compare wearing a mask in public to wearing a seatbelt. When asked if seatbelts were unconstitutional, Sabatini hit Keilar with a haymaker.

“Seatbelts, of course, are something that are assigned for people to wear in very highly regulated areas of public domain, namely highways,” Sabatini said. “When you go to a highway, you’re driving very fast, you’re operating a piece of technology and so the state has an interest in governing what happens in those very specific arenas.

With Keilar conducting one of the most unprofessional interviews in recent memory, very little was accomplished in the area of political discourse.

Keilar’s emotional response to the mask mandate didn’t stop there, however, with the CNN correspondent frantically trying to score points on Sabatini in a Twitter thread.

Sabatini, who represents District 32 in the Florida House, has filed several lawsuits against counties requiring people to wear a face-covering in public.

As it stands, several counties across the state have issued orders that make wearing a mask mandatory inside establishments like restaurants, grocery stores, buses, churches, and nonprofits. Many of these mandates carry penalties if violated, including fines and potential jail time.

Sabatini maintains that such orders are unconstitutional. He hopes that pushback will lead to counties altering the language — much like what was done in Seminole County.


  1. John

    The face mask is to protect others from you. What makes Sabatini think he has the Constitutional right to infect me because he chooses to not wear a face mask? Why does he choose to politicize public health? As a state representative, what has Sabatini done to fight this virus? Yes, he’s drawn a lot of attention to himself for his minority view on wearing face masks and rightfully so.

  2. Randall

    The CDC has determined that a COVID-infected person spreading aerosols in a public setting is a health hazard and can be substantially reduced by wearing a face covering. Anthony Sabatini does not understand that the key to reducing the out-of-control infection rate in Florida *and* maintaining some semblance of an open economy is predicated on adopting unequivocal health and safety standards, including the required use of a mask in public. If Sabatini would rather eliminate universal health standards in the perceived interest of “freedom” and allow the free flow of bodily fluids regardless of the consequences, why stop at respiratory aerosols? Anthony Sabotini, it’s time for you to stand up for American Patriots who want to defend their Constitutional right to urinate and defecate in the middle of aisle seven of their local Publix.

  3. Mark Anderson

    Sabatini likes to see himself talk. He’s still a little boy. He will grow out of it. 132, now 156, Sabs it only takes a couple of weeks for the death rate to follow the cases. Even you should be able to figure that out.

  4. Steve

    What gives you the constitutional power to require me to wear a mask for YOUR protection? Its your right to wear one to protect yourself. I have no part in that so I’ll do as I please.

  5. Amy

    Infecting someone with a respiratory illness is not a “rights” question. It’s a fact of life. Respiratory illness has always existed. The only defense you have is a good immune system. Take care of your body. That’s not my job. My body is my job. If you’re so scared, stay home or count on your own mask. Wash your hands. Masks increase respiratory illness by 300%.

  6. Andy

    LOL! Once again CNN shows how truly uneducated their so-called Journalists are! The silly comparisons to Shirts, Shoes or Seat belts is ridiculous! If worn properly, Shirts, Shoes AND seat belts … DO NOT restrict a person’s ability to BREATH! A mask most definitely DOES!

  7. Randall

    You do not have the ‘Constitutional right’ to smoke on a plane as second hand smoke is proven to kill others. Your right to do whatever you please ends where it interferes with others’ right to life. You can smoke all day in your car without your mask on, but you don’t have the right to inflict your reckless behavior on others. More than half the states now mandate wearing a mask because the *scientific data* support the mandate. Don’t be the crying child who doesn’t get what it wants; be an adult and protect others by wearing a mask.

  8. Randall

    You can not safely wear a plastic bag over your head while at the store. However, oxygen flows freely through cloth mask and N-95 masks, and a healthy person can breathe with a mask. If you are in the 0.001% of the population who has a medical complications that contraindicates wearing masks, then Uber Eats, Amazon, and Netflix should meet your needs until there’s a vaccine.

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