In a Friday morning tweet, a Republican member of the Florida Legislature compared those advocating wearing masks for virus protection to “Nazis.”
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, the controversial Lake County state Representative, suggested reading material for what he called “mask Nazis” on Twitter.
He suggested slides from health websites of various Scandinavian countries discouraging mask wearing. It is unclear when the slides were produced.
The comments continue as positive tests, percentage of positive tests and demand for tests continue, potential leading indicators for hard decisions for health care administrators.
However, this is just the latest in a series of controversial statements that, if precedent is instructive, will roil the left, leave the right standing effectively mute, and confound those who would seek to sanction him.
A Sabatini comment this Spring about AR-15s greeting “protesters” in his home county did not upset the Republican House Speaker enough to take action.
“Attention potential ‘protesters’ coming near Lake County, FL. This is an AR-15 — this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business — FYI!”
Democrats flagged the tweet with appeals to House Speaker Jose Oliva to address the matter. However, the Hialeah Republican said Sabatini’s social media output was of no concern.
The AR-15 comment was “provocative,” Oliva said, but “directed specifically at a hypothetical party.”
Democrats wanted Twitter to “remove this account for violence,” but the play failed.
Twitter could not “identify any violation” of the rules.
In the end, the Florida Democratic Party blasted Twitter, saying the social media network “may think it’s okay to incite violence.”
The House Republican previously had opined on how the civil unrest in the streets of Minneapolis should be handled.
“Lock up every one of these disgusting, lawless thugs destroying the city of Minneapolis,” Sabatini counseled on Twitter before adding more legal advice.
“They should each be arrested and prosecuted to the FULL extent of the law,” he added. “Shame on the politicians that pander to this destruction!”
House Democrats took issue with that too, but to no avail.