On August 13, Fox & Friends again hosted the co-owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, to promote their legal battles with the state government over COVID-19 restrictions. Co-owner Frank Trumbetti floated a bizarre conspiracy theory that local governments’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts are actually an attempt to “mandate a peak and a spike in COVID cases in the fall so they can shut everything down again.”
For months, Fox News has given Atilis Gym obsessive, fawning coverage of its defiance of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts, including by waiting in vain for video of the gym owners being arrested by state police, which Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth hyped as a possible confrontation between the “growing movement” and a SWAT team.
On another occasion, Fox & Friends very briefly mentioned the danger of going to a gym during the pandemic, only for Fox Business to promote gym reopenings again later in the day. Fox & Friends did not abandon its insistence that gyms must reopen, and that brief mention of safety concerns was never substantively discussed on the show.
At the end of the August 13 segment, Brian Kilmeade thanked them for “fighting for so many other people.”