Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, is continuing to work out at the Supreme Court’s private gym despite the coronavirus pandemic and D.C.’s stringent stay-at-home orders, her trainer revealed this week.
Her trainer, Bryant Johnson, told Law360 that Ginsburg, who has battled with serious health issues over the years and maintains a status as a four-time cancer survivor, is continuing to participate in her twice-a-week workouts at the Supreme Court’s private facility, even though everything is virtually shut down due to the coronavirus.
“Everybody’s been shut down. The only reason why I didn’t shut the justice down is because, hey, she ain’t having it,” Johnson said. “She has that grandfather status to me and if she wants to train, that‘s the least that I can do.”
“Her choice is, she doesn’t make excuses not to do it,” he added. “So we find ways to do it.”
Johnson suggested that the two are engaging in social distancing and carefully wiping down equipment in order to ensure their safety.
“Well it’s like this: Before I go in, I wipe down every piece of equipment that I think she is going to touch and come in contact with,” Johnson explained. “Then I go back in and wash my hands.”
“All I have to do is set it up and she just automatically knows exactly what I want to do,” he continued. “It doesn’t require me to grab her, hold her, get up close and personal.”
“I don’t know anybody who doesn’t feel better after a workout is completed and that includes the justice,” he said. “No matter what, we try to get it in twice a week.”
Ginsburg’s workouts come as Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a stringent stay-at-home order for the district. Even the justices have opted to dial into their conferences.
According to Bowser’s order, a building’s gym, lounge, or courtyard spaces are off limits, or categorized as nonessential:
Individuals shall not linger in common areas of apartment buildings and shall not use buildings’ facilities, such as gyms, party rooms, lounges, rooftop, or courtyard spaces. Such spaces are unlikely to be disinfected often and could otherwise exposed individuals to the COVID-19 virus.
The order also specifies that the term “Health Care Operation” does not include fitness facilities, exercise gyms, spas, massage parlors, or other similar facilities.”
According to the release, those who “willfully” violate the order “may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.”
“Our message remains the same: stay home,” Bowser said in a statement. “Staying at home is the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself, your family, and our entire community from COVID-19.
“Many people want to know how they can help right now, and for most people this is how – by staying home,” she added.