Councilman Bobby Henon Proves Why Philly Gyms Need to Be Shut Down

A photo of the unmasked elected official working out inside a Northeast Philly gym on Tuesday — alongside a lot of other unmasked patrons — shows you can't count on everyone following the rules.

bobby henon doing an indoor gym workout without a COVID mask inside Dan Campos Fitness in Philadelphia

Bobby Henon doing an indoor gym workout without a COVID mask at Dan Campos Fitness in Philadelphia on Tuesday, November 17th

On Monday, Philadelphia announced new COVID restrictions and prohibitions, including a complete ban on indoor workouts and classes at Philadelphia gyms. Some gym owners and fitness enthusiasts we know think this is unfair, because many gyms follow very strict COVID protocols. Masks. Capacity limits. Equipment sanitization. But as City Councilman Bobby Henon demonstrates for us at Dan Campos Fitness in Northeast Philly, not all gyms or their customers take COVID quite as seriously, which ruins it for the rest of us.

The new rules go into effect on Friday, November 20th, but on Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and health commissioner Thomas Farley asked all Philadelphians and all business owners to observe the new rules immediately in the interest of stopping the COVID surge in Philadelphia. Not only did their colleague Henon (yes, the same Bobby Henon under federal indictment) fail to follow their advice by working out indoors the next day. He worked out indoors without even bothering to wear a mask, which is a complete, utter and flagrant violation of the city’s longstanding rules.

“Councilman Henon was not wearing a mask while at his gym as required by the Department of Health,” Henon’s office confirmed to Philly Mag on Wednesday. “He acknowledges his error in judgment and will not make the same mistake again.”

The photo, which originally turned up in a public Facebook post on the Dan Campos Fitness page and shows Henon pushing a weight sled, was one of many released by the gym from Tuesday’s workouts. We examined all 48 photos from Tuesday’s post and couldn’t find a single person in a mask.

I reached out to the owner of Dan Campos Fitness to find out what the gym’s mask policy is and how it’s enforced. He didn’t offer that information, explaining that he feared being “singled out” and “made out to be a villain.” He also said that plenty of other gyms allow customers to work out unmasked — even though city policy requires otherwise.

While we’re glad to see that a City Councilman is concerned about his fitness, we humbly remind him that COVID-19 is set to become the third leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer. That makes working out unmasked pretty bad for your health — not to mention the health of those around you.