You may remember Atilis Gym, a workout spot in Camden County, New Jersey, that has made headlines over the past few months due to owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti’s refusal to comply with the government’s coronavirus orders.
In May, a gym-goer was arrested outside Atilis when he refused to give police his name.
In July, Smith and Trumbetti were arrested and charged with contempt, obstruction and violating a disaster control act.
A few days later, they reopened their gym, kicking down the plywood panels that had been placed across the entrance.
Despite the government’s best efforts, Atilis remains open — but racked up fines of over $1.2 million for their trouble, Smith told Fox News.
“We open every single day. Gov. Murphy has thrown everything he possibly could to shut us down,” Smith said. “He has arrested my partner and I. He’s given us over 60 citations, some of them criminal. He fines us $15,497.76 per day for every day that we’re in operation.”
$15,497.76 in fines a day, over $1.2 million total — and yet not a single case of the coronavirus has been connected to Atilis.
According to Smith, the gym sees approximately 500 to 700 visitors a day, for a total of over 83,000 visits since May.
While Atilis does utilize safety protocols like social distancing and proper sanitation, masks are not required. Smith said less than one percent of gym-goers opt to don a mask while working out.
Despite the high traffic and lack of masks, there has been no coronavirus outbreak traced back to Atilis, Smith said.
That’s a pretty damning indictment of the necessity of both masks and lockdowns.
Nevertheless, Atilis, Smith and Trumbetti have been hit with over a million dollars in fines.
Hopefully, Smith and Trumbetti can serve as a beacon of hope to the rest of America, especially those who have similarly suffered from their businesses being forcibly shut down. Their bravery and resilience in continuing to fight the lockdowns – especially in the face of such hefty fines – is commendable.
And they’re not done yet. In addition to continually defying lockdown orders, Smith is working on a national directory of other businesses that are pushing back.
“Think of it as a Yelp directory for businesses that are defying any and all COVID restrictions,” Smith said on FOX Business‘ “Varney and Co.” “Whether that be complete shutdowns, arbitrary time limits on when they can and cannot serve alcohol or when they can’t serve food.”
“We’re going to hit that critical point where there’s too many businesses open to punish, and this whole thing will fall apart like a house of cards.”
Here’s hoping Smith and Trumbetti can keep up the good work without too much more government interference.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.