Gym owner offering free memberships to clients who don’t get vaccinated

New Jersey gym owner created membership incentive after hearing about recent Krispy Kreme promotion

Despite President Joe Biden recently announcing that 100 million Americans are now vaccinated, there are still some who do not subscribe to the idea of a vaccine ensuring one is COVID-19 free.

Ian Smith, owner of The Atilis Gym, is one of those with doubts. He recently decided to offer an incentive at his Bellmawr, New Jersey, fitness center for those who share his sentiments about the various COVID-19 vaccinations. After hearing about the offer national doughnut chain Krispy Kreme issued of free doughnuts to vaccinated customers, Smith is giving away a similar freebie at his gym for those who decline the vaccine.

“In light of @krispykreme giving free donuts for receiving the CVD shot, here at @TheAtilisGym we are giving out free memberships to all who don’t get vaccinated,” Smith wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “We believe in health - the real way - exercise, good diet, plenty of Vitamin D, Zinc, and an environment to destress.

Smith is not alone in his opinion on avoiding the vaccination. As of February, one in three Americans say they’re definitely or probably not getting the COVID-19 vaccine, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. The poll found that while 67% of Americans plan to get vaccinated or have already done so, 15% are certain they won’t and 17% say probably not. Many expressed doubts about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

The gym’s free membership deal brought mixed responses. Smith’s tweet had received more than 4,000 likes and was retweeted 2,000 times by Wednesday evening.

Many of the responses refuted Smith’s opinion that vitamin D could serve as the antidote to the virus that has killed more than 2.7 million people.

Others expressed support for Smith’s incentive to gym patrons. Some said their distrust in the government was reason to avoid the COVID-19 vaccination.