BELLMAWR, N.J. – The fate of a small Bellmawr, New Jersey continues to occupy a central position in the nationwide debate over COVID-19 restrictions.
On Tuesday, the owners were scheduled to appear in front of Bellmawr’s mayor and council who are deciding whether to revoke the gym’s mercantile license. The mostly-remote hearing is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. The gym was recently found in contempt of a court order for operating their facility; Garden State gyms are closed to all but one-on-one personal training instruction pursuant to Governor Murphy’s emergency order. The owners reopened their facility notwithstanding the potential additional legal risks over the weekend, posting a video on social media of themselves kicking down a wood barricade blocking the entrance.
“Governor murphy is personally responsible for half of the deaths from covid in New Jersey yet you are all ok with it,” co-owner Frank Trumbetti complained in a long Monday Facebook post. “He is taking all of your rights away but you are ok with it. He marches with BLM and that’s ok, because covid is afraid of BLM. yet we get arrested for opening up our business after taking more precautions then any business in the state. You all are a bunch of sheep who dont deserve the rights we are fighting for.”
Americans in distant states are taking notice of Atilis Gym’s plight.
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci over New Jersey’s treatment of Trumbetti and his co-owner Ian Smith.
“My bet is, if these two individuals that owned this gym were outside protesting, they’d be just fine,” said Jordan. “But because they were inside the gym, they got arrested. Do you think that’s okay?”
“I don’t understand what you’re asking me as a public health official to opine on who should get arrested or not,” responded Fauci. “That’s not my position.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) August 2, 2020