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A New Jersey gym kicked opened its doors early this morning as supporters celebrated the move in defiance of the state’s coronavirus shutdown order.
Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey reopened Monday morning amid cheers from anti-lockdown protesters who were on hand to rally behind the business and send a message to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.
(Source: Fox News)
“We made the decision to open,” Ian Smith, the co-owner of the gym told “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth on Monday, saying “we’re sick and tired of having our rights trampled on.”
“We will not stand down,” he vowed, despite the lockdown and even in the face of police potentially arriving to enforce the stay-at-home order.
He called out the restrictions which have allowed “big box” stores like Walmart to remain open while small businesses like his own have been force to keep their doors closed. Smith noted that safety guidelines being used by other places were studied and the gym was reopening the doors with a plan in place.
“We put together a plan and the plan was first that members only so we knew who were in our doors at all times and when, something big corporations are not doing … we’ll be able to track all of that very easily. We’ll be taking temperatures at the door, according to CDC recommendations. Anybody at the time who is a 100.4 or more will not be allowed in until their fever has subsided for at least 48 hours,” Smith said.
“We got spray bottles for each individual person so that anything that they touch will be disinfected before and after use … We’ve gone above and beyond and we have listed all of the steps and it’s so far beyond what the other stores are doing that, at this point, if the governor chooses to shut us down, it is absurd,” he added.
Supporters – many not wearing masks – cheered and chanted “USA!”
Doors of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr now open to cheers, in defiance of state orders. pic.twitter.com/BtuMVpg5hP
— Katherine Scott (@KScott6abc) May 18, 2020
“You guys have been a voice for millions.,” Hegseth told Smith and his business partner, Frank Trumbetti, amid the crowd who were happy to show their support.
More than 200 people have gathered outside Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, NJ in support of the owner’s decision to defy the governor’s orders and reopen the gym. It is set to open at 8 a.m. pic.twitter.com/f2n7RQRnO0
— Ellie Rushing (@EllieRushing) May 18, 2020
Breaking Update: Atilis Gym in Bellmawr opened as planned at 8am. Members separated in line outside by 6ft red X markings. They read&sign waiver&questionnaire, get temps taken, get personal disinfectant&allowed in. Bellmawr police keeping crowd peaceful @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/kIDHRHqREz
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) May 18, 2020
The Fox News co-host, who shot several segments live at the New Jersey location throughout the morning, later tweeted that police did arrive and had a “respectful” discussion with the gym owners before leaving.
“The officer notified the gym they were ‘violating the Governor’s order.’ Then said, ‘have a nice day’ and walked away. The crowd roared,” he wrote.
Police just showed up to @TheAtilisGym. Entire exchange was respectful. The officer notified the gym they were “violating the Governor’s order.” Then said, “have a nice day” and walked away. The crowd roared.@GovMurphy blinked.#Freedom #ReOpenAmerica
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) May 18, 2020
A New Jersey Gym has been closed for months by the Governors tyrannical order.
The gym owners finally had enough and opened.
Police arrived immediately to tell the gym they were “violating the Governor’s order.”
Then the cops said, “have a nice day” and left.
God Bless America🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/iVVmyZxEQM
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 18, 2020
Steve Keely, a reporter for Fox 29, tweeted that the police officer told the crowd: “Formally, you are all in violation of executive order.”
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) May 18, 2020
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