New York gym owner suing Cuomo to allow reopening: 'Are we supposed to go broke?'

The gym owner was denied an exemption to open his program for kids with special needs

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is "destroying everything" with his coronavirus lockdowns, a gym owner who is suing the state to reopen told Fox News Radio on Monday.

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The Democrat governor doubled down after being sued in June by the New York Fitness Coalition, comprised of over 5,000 industry members and more than 700 gyms, by calling gyms "highly problematic" and claiming that going to a gym is a "dangerous activity."

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“The statements from the governor are ridiculous," Charles DeFrancesco, owner of The Arena and part of the coalition suing Cuomo, told the “Brian Kilmeade Show.”

"I don’t know what gyms he’s talking about because in 44 states gyms have been opened, and we have the numbers and the data to prove that you’re no more likely at a gym to get COVID than anywhere else, and that’s what we can’t understand,” he added.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Kilmeade said Cuomo is “denying people like [DeFrancesco] to make a living.”

“It’s beyond ridiculous, especially when there’s no bailout or course of action. Are we just supposed to go broke?” DeFrancesco responded.

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The White Plains gym owner said he was also denied a state exemption for his "Fit 4 All Abilities" program which helps children and adults with special needs like his son, Antonio, who is autistic.

"I was refused," he said. "They said it wasn’t essential, but just remember liquor stores are open… but our special needs children can’t go exercise for mental health. It can’t be more ridiculous."

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The gym owner said his side is waiting for the state to prove why gyms are currently closed.

“They’re destroying everything, and you know, gyms and fitness are the only defense that’s proven to combat against COVID. The healthier you are, the more unlikely you are to get sick or die from COVID," he said. "Activity is great for mental health and look at the suicide rates. It speaks for itself.”