Gym Owner Who Defied COVID Closures Offers Free Memberships To Anti-Vaxxers

The co-owner of a gym in southern New Jersey who defied coronavirus-related closures last year is now offering free memberships to people who don't get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ian Smith of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday, saying he was doing so in light of Krispy Kreme's pledge to give a free doughnut per day to vaccinated customers for the rest of 2021.

"...[H]ere at Atilis Gym we are giving out free memberships to all who don't get vaccinated," Smith wrote. "We believe in health - the real way - exercise, good diet, plenty of Vitamin D, Zinc and an environment to destress."

Smith, 33, and his Atilis co-owner Frank Trumbetter, 51, were arrested last July on contempt charges, obstructing and violating the Distaster Control Act. A judge ordered the state health department to put locks on the doors of Atilis or put up barriers to ensure compliance with the order.

Smith's offer drew a mixed reaction. Some users congratulating him for fighting back against the governor's orders and the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

Many other users condemned Smith for diminishing the deadliness of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been blamed for 546,000 deaths in the United States alone since last winter.

Photo: Getty Image

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