- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 30, 2020


Florida’s got a problem with face masks — and it’s one that is terrorizing citizens, sending them to jail, stripping them of their most basic civil, human rights. For face masks. For failing or refusing to wear face masks.

Has America gone mad?

Has America actually turned this corner, where Black Lives Matter-aligned protesters-slash-thugs can, say, sling Molotov cocktails or bricks, destroy historical monuments and police stations, break into and loot private businesses with abandon — but it’s the face mask rebel who gets the jail time?

In Key West, “if you step out of your front door without a mask, you will be punished with 60 days of jail,” wrote Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini on his Twitter page. “The mayor has become a radical dictator and is acting with NO legal authority.”

So Sabatini, who also happens to be an attorney, did what attorneys do: He sued.

He filed a suit against Key West, “the city with the MOST severe mask ordinance in the country,” he tweeted.

And he’s filed, along with his legal partners, a total of 13 lawsuits in Florida in recent months, all over radical face mask crackdowns, all on behalf of terrorized citizens.

“There’s no money in this,” he said in a telephone interview.

But there is a Constitution at stake. There is freedom at stake. Florida’s far-left politicos have been busily using the coronavirus as the gestapo boot that keeps on stamping, and they must be fought. For the sake of the state and nation — they have to be stopped.

“BREAKING,” Sabatini tweeted just this week. “Florida’s most corrupt county — @browardinfo — had my plaintiff arrested by local police because ONE person inside his gym was not wearing a mask.”

In a separate tweet, Sabatini wrote that his client, Mike Carnevale, was “targeted and arrested because we filed a lawsuit against Broward County challenging their mask ordinance two days ago.”

What’s the deal with Broward?

“Broward County order says masks must be worn inside homes,” the Sun-Sentinel wrote, in a headline.

From the blog The Prepared: “In Broward County, FL, house guests must mask up.”

And another from the Sun-Sentinel, from July 17: “Broward County now under nightly curfew to battle coronavirus.”

Good Lord, people. Is this what America has become? Democrats shrug off the tyranny as a necessary evil to protect citizens from the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are in such a downward spiral,” said Broward County Manager Bertha Henry to the Sun-Sentinel on COVID-19 numbers. “Miami-Dade cases are up around 3,000 a day.”

But let’s remember: These numbers are meaningless. It’s the case count versus recovery count that matters. If COVID-19 as a deadly virus is the justification for shutting down the country, closing schools, closing churches, closing people up in their homes, and ordering face masks for those who dare step outside — then it’s the percentage of fatalities that counts, and the truthful reporting of recoveries that matters even more.

Just blasting out numbers of positive coronavirus tests is not only meaningless — it’s harmful. It gives the fear-driven a voice to cry wolf; it gives the left a tool to take control and clamp individual freedoms.

This is what’s happening in Florida.

Of course, coronavirus positives are rising in the state. Florida’s a big state with a lot of people; as testing becomes more frequent, it’s only common sense more could test positive. But how many die versus recover? That’s the significant figure because it tells the real danger of the virus — and in turn, tells citizens and politicians how to act, how to protect, going forward.

“Testing has skyrocketed in Florida, increasing from about 30,000 a day during the second week of June to 60,000 a day two weeks ago, to almost 100,000 tests a day this past week,” Florida Atlantic University’s News Desk reported July 20.

Add to that the widely reported curiosities of some Florida jurisdictions’ ridiculously high positive test counts — 100 percent in some instances — and it’s clear: The numbers aren’t to be trusted.

“Questions remain over labs reporting 100% positive cases,” WCJB reported a couple weeks ago, in a story on 450 Florida labs and their 100% positivity rates of the coronavirus.

And back in May, it was this, reported by NBC Miami: “35,000 Coronavirus Tests ‘Unreliable’: Florida Healthcare System.”

Yet the clamps on individual freedoms continue.

Yet the face mask police are in full force, patrolling the streets of Florida for offenders. To fine. To jail. To terrorize.

“Miami to fine people up to $500 if they don’t wear masks,” CBS reported.

“Cops enforce mask laws with fines and arrests in South Florida,” the Sun Sentinel reported.

Stop. Take a moment and look around. Yes, the coronavirus is real. Yes, some people have died from the virus. But far more have recovered. Far more have died, in fact, from other viruses, from the flu, even, in other seasons, at other times — in other political climates — and America didn’t close. Police weren’t tasked to hound and imprison citizens over face masks.

Politicians didn’t run roughshod over individual rights.

If we don’t wake up and smell the tyranny — and the fake numbers, and the false figures, and the faulty reporting, and the factually challenged science — it won’t just be the Sunshine State that goes dark. It’ll be America. All of America’s freedoms will fall — to a politically hyped virus, of all things.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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