One such example of this is New Jersey gym owner Ian Smith, who recently publicly bragged about having already been hit with what he estimates is around $1.2 million in pandemic-related fines. Smith, who TMZ notes is the co-owner of the Atilis Gym in the Bellmawr area, is adamant about keeping the business open to the public while also not mandating the health expert-recommended practice of wearing face masks.
Perhaps you've seen the Atilis name pop up in headlines over the past few months, as Smith and company have made a point to continuously inject themselves into pandemic era headlines with a number of apparent publiciy grabs aimed at Governor Phil Murphy's health recommendations.
In a recent video, seen up top, Smith bragged about the fines he's received thus far and stated that the establishment will "never" mandate masks.
"We don't mandate masks," Smith, who licks his thumb approximately 439 times in the self-serious video, said via a typed out message on a sheet of paper. "We never will."
Smith and co-owner Frank Trumbetti have previously been arrested in connection with their pandemic practices. And back in May, many were quick to remind the general public that Smith was sentenced to more than five years in prison in 2008 for the drunk driving death of a teenager.
In the state of New Jersey alone, there have been more than 400,000 confirmed cases and nearly 16,000 confirmed deaths as of Dec. 13.
"We must work together to beat back the second wave," Gov. Murphy said on Sunday. "Mask up. Social distance. Wash your hands. Use common sense."