The fitness industry has had enough with tough coronavirus lockdowns, to the extent that U.S. Fitness Coalition president and CEO Charles Cassara is now challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to free up New York gyms.
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In a FOX Business exclusive, Cassara told “The Claman Countdown” he began taking legal action after gyms were not included in the state’s reopening plan until phase four.
Most gyms are reopened with strict guidelines and limitations and some Manhattan facilities are still restricted from operating indoors.
“Those gyms haven’t been open for nine months,” he said. “No one can survive on that.”
Cassara said the new coronavirus relief package is “no good” for the industry either, leaving him no choice but to take legal action and press state authorities to make a change.
“This bill is just garbage,” he said. “The PPP money goes to businesses that are payroll heavy. Gyms, for the most part, are not payroll heavy. We are payroll light and rent heavy. There is nothing here for us. There’s no way for us to get any of that money.”
“The first round didn’t really help for us and the second round is going to do even less,” he added.
In New York State, coronavirus spread is not being linked back to public facilities like gyms, salons and restaurants. But Cassara said Gov. Cuomo pinned fitness operations as being “top spreaders” from the beginning.
“We’re not even in the ten top industries that spread COVID,” he said. “So, that really did us harm – vilifying us in the media and all that.”
Cassara also pointed out that exercise helps people remain healthy and “fight the comorbidities” that the virus tends to attack.