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New Jersey Gym Owner Sentenced To One Year Probation For Saving Lives During Pandemic


A New Jersey gym owner who refused to close his gym under the state’s Democrat governor’s lockdown order was sentenced to one year probation.

Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym in the Philadelphia suburb of Bellmawr, kept his business open to allow residents to maintain a high level of baseline health in the face of a virus disproportionately killing obese people.

“We got one year probation for the crime of taking our doors off to prevent government goons from locking us out of our gym,” Smith announced on Twitter Thursday after the sentencing hearing. “[Atilis Gym] is open and will remain open at any cost.”

Smith’s decision has indeed come at a high cost. According to the Post Millennial, Smith was fined $1.2 million “and vowed to stay open anyway as what he described as a ‘f*ck you’ to Democratic Governor Phil Murphy.” Smith also said his business license was revoked in August 2020. That same month, a meta-analysis of studies probing the risks of Covid to those who carry excess weight revealed those with obesity were at least 113 percent more likely to be hospitalized, at least 74 percent more likely to need intensive care, and nearly 50 percent more likely to die.

In March of last year, Smith began to offer free memberships to those who did not take the Covid vaccine to enhance their metabolic health amid a circulating virus that especially threatens the unhealthy. Just two weeks prior, the CDC published data showing nearly 80 percent of those hospitalized with the novel Wuhan coronavirus were overweight or obese. Smith announced his incentive a day after Krispy Kreme offered free donuts to individuals who showed their vaccine card, promoting a complacency with the normalization of sedentary lifestyles incentivized by government officials who implemented lockdowns.

“We believe in health – the real way – exercise, good diet, plenty of Vitamin D, Zinc, and an environment to destress,” Smith wrote.

In an era of an endemic virus with new variants poised to circumvent vaccines with waning immunity, confronting the American obesity epidemic has become even more important.

The American population entered the coronavirus epidemic unhealthy to begin with. The latest CDC data available on nationwide BMI scores precedes a pandemic where 42 percent of American adults, by one estimate from the American Psychological Association (APA), reported undesired weight gain. Of those adults, the average gain was 29 pounds. In the days leading up to Covid’s inception, less than a third of Americans were at a healthy weight, according to the CDC. More than 42 percent qualified as “obese.”

In stark contrast to First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to confront the underlying epidemic brewing out of control 10 years ago, the Biden White House appears unconcerned about Americans’ health beyond the Fauci-prescribed measures of endless vaccines and mask-wearing.

When asked at the press briefing Thursday why the administration has not promoted healthier lifestyles in the Covid era, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “What’s most important to note is what we know is most effective, which is getting vaccinated, getting boosted, wearing a mask.”