This is really disappointing. John Miller, the Courthouse Club Fitness owner, has decided to defy Governor Brown's order for gyms to close for two weeks beginning tomorrow because COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising so rapidly in Oregon. Here's part of an Oregon Health Authority graphic.
Miller has decided that making money is more important than the safety of his employees, club members, and the public at large.
He has joined the ranks of irrational anti-science right-wingers around the country who believe that public health orders needed to slow the skyrocketing COVID-19 cases are government overreach that must be fought.
What's next, John Miller? Are you going to lead a movement to allow people to drive drunk? Not wear seatbelts? Text while driving? How about if restaurants ignore violations of food safety regulations? OK with that?
I wouldn't be surprised if armed "militia" guys who like to dress up as fake soldiers will show up at Courthouse Club Fitness locations, vowing to defend the freedom of people who can afford an athletic club membership to infect others by their heavy breathing as they run on a treadmill while watching Fox News.
My wife and I cancelled our Courthouse Club Fitness membership, which I've had for almost as long as the clubs opened up many years ago, after we learned that the clubs were going to allow people to wear face shields rather than masks when gyms were allowed to reopen. (Face shields are ineffective.)
That was the first sign Miller wasn't serious about doing his part to control the pandemic.
UPDATE: The notice from John Miller has been removed from the Courthouse Club Fitness Facebook page, along with the hundreds of comments associated with the post (though I copied some of them and have shared those comments below). Miller's notice is on the Courthouse Club Fitness web site, though.
The self-serving notice he posted on the Courthouse Club Fitness Facebook page is a much stronger sign that he is willing to ignore public health experts and the Governor's Covid orders so his business can stay open for the next two weeks while COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly in both Marion County and Oregon as a whole.
Here it is. After the notice I've shared a critical comment I left on the Courthouse Club Fitness Facebook page, along with comments from other people taking Miller to task for defying the Governor's order. Which is totally legal, by the way.
Thank you so much for your courage and stand against the unnecessary overreaching tyranny from our deranged Governor. Freedom, choice and self responsibility must be preserved. My prayer is that more local businesses can follow your powerful example. We The People!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
I guess John Miller is OK with making his clubs a haven for Trump supporters who hate Governor Brown and public health orders. Sort of surprising that Courthouse Club Fitness would decide that appealing to a decided minority of local people is a sound business decision.
The Statesman Journal has a story about this, "Salem's Courthouse Club Fitness says it will stay open, defying Gov. Brown's freeze." If you want to express how you feel about Miller's action, Courthouse Club Fitness has a contact page on its web site.
The first of the non-supportive comments below is the one I wrote.
Very disappointing decision. You should put the safety of people above your desire to stay open. You were closed for months previously and survived. And now you say you can't be closed for two weeks to save lives? Extremely selfish.
We cancelled our membership when you approved wearing face shields rather than masks in your clubs, which are next to useless at preventing Covid infections. Your decision to not comply with Governor Brown's order virtually assures that my wife and I will never rejoin Courthouse again.
Please reconsider your flawed decision to stay open. This won't help you in the long run, as people in Salem realize that you don't care much about preventing Covid infections. The Statesman Journal story says you view the mental health of your members is at stake. Hey, about the physical health of Salem citizens?
Dying from Covid, going to the hospital with Covid, suffering long term illnesses from Covid -- those aftect someone's mental health much more than exercising at an athletic club.
Sadly, after 12 years and countless classes, I am discontinuing my membership. I expect the businesses I patronize to follow the law, not pick and choose what laws or state orders they will follow, especially ones regarding health and safety.
Absolutely disgusting and appalling. You should be held personally liable for anyone and everyone who gets sick because of you and any selfish asshole that uses your club(s) during the shutdown.
I hope you get fined big time too. Like that idiot hair salon lady who also thought she was above everyone else.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
You took PPP money and still charged all the members their normal monthly dues... how is two weeks going to end your ability to operate? If someone gets covid from going to your gym when it’s supposed to be closed, you could potentially face some serious legal issues... this is a terrible decision.
How selfish. Profits over people.
This is the wrong decision, people will disagree but it’s wrong. I’m sorry you have been put in this financial decision and ultimately this is my own personal opinion but it is not the “most responsible option”. Shame.
I kind of find it hard to believe that THE MOST EXPENSIVE gym in town cant financially make it through the shut down like all the smaller, cheaper gyms out here that are all following the shut down order to keep our town safe. 🤷♀️ we are all struggling, we are all barely making ends meet, but we ALL need to listen and stay home or this shut down will just last longer and covid will continue to spread... If working out is a must there are PLENTY of other ways to get exercise in. 😊
Was this poor man a member of your gym?
"Oregon’s 749th COVID-19 death is a 38-year-old man in Marion County who tested positive on Oct. 30 and died on Nov. 6 in his residence. He did not have underlying conditions."
Imagine having so much privilege that not being able to go to your fancy gym for a couple weeks feels like an attack on your constitutional rights. Smh! It is amazing to me what is "too much" sacrifice for people in order to save the lives of other Americans. What happened to your Christian values?
Maybe I'm missing something but when the first shutdown happened in March and the Courthouse did close their doors temporarily, members were still expected to pay dues. Refunds or deferrals of contracts were not offered. So I'm not sure how it negatively impacted your business in that respect. As members we lost one of our 2 incomes completely and were still charged for dues every month since March.
My comment is not about whether or not I agree with your decision to stay open I just feel like there is a lack of honest communication here about how dues have been handled since March.