VIDEO – New York Gym Owners Refuse to Obey Mask Mandate: 'Membership Has Increased Dramatically'

A New York gym is pushing back against Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) indoor mask mandate, which she announced December 10.

World Gym of Greece co-owners Michelle Sember, Ron Sember, and Tim Dougherty appeared on Fox & Friends to talk about the issue, the outlet reported Thursday.

“Our membership has increased dramatically. We probably get five signups to every one cancellation because of the mask mandate,” Michelle commented, adding, “They don’t agree with us not allowing it, but you know, we have increased our membership.”

However, Ron explained the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and mandates on the business had been disastrous.

“Back in March of 2020, it was supposed to be a two-week shutdown to slow down the spread, and that turned into a seven-month close-down, which in turn has completely ruined our business, never to return to pre-pandemic status,” Ron noted.

He added, “The fine is irrelevant at this point. They’ve already destroyed our businesses.”

Hochul announced Friday she was forcing businesses to check the vaccination status of customers or implement a mask requirement.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul tours a Queens public school to view safety precautions ahead of its opening during the continued Covid outbreak on August 18, 2021, in New York City (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images).

The governor’s website said it would address the “winter surge”:

This determination is based on the State’s weekly seven-day case rate as well as increasing hospitalizations. The new business and venue requirements extend to both patrons and staff. This measure is effective Dec. 13, 2021 until Jan. 15, 2022, after which the State will re-evaluate based on current conditions. The new measure brings added layers of mitigation during the holidays when more time is spent indoors shopping, gathering, and visiting holiday-themed destinations.

Meanwhile, reaction to the gym’s decision had been varied, according to Dougherty, who described it as “ridiculous” to make an individual wear a mask while exercising.

“We had a ton of pushback. You know, people don’t like to exercise in masks,” Dougherty explained. “Exercise is hard enough, and, you know, to make somebody… mask up and to run or lift, it, it’s ridiculous.”

“We had some people… the real avid people pushed through it, but a lot of people didn’t,” he concluded.

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