Soul Cycle Instructor to the Stars Stacey Griffith Sees Backlash After Posting About Getting COVID-19 Vaccine
Stacey Griffith apologized for her actions saying “I made a terrible error in judgment, and for that, I am truly sorry," she wrote on her Instagram.
A top SoulCycle instructor, whose clients have included Madonna and Kelly Ripa, has received outrage over a social media post about her getting the COVID-19 vaccine, as the city continues to face a significant shortage. Stacey Griffith initially defended herself by saying “her job qualified her an educator,” and that she “can only teach to them if I am healthy myself,” according to a report.
“In my profession of health and wellness as a teacher, it’s my priority daily to keep my community and their respiratory systems operating at full capacity so they can beat this virus if they are infected by it,” Griffith, 52, told The Daily Beast on Friday.
Her post, which has since been deleted, read: “VACCINE DAY! Step one of the Moderna magic!! One hour drive to STATEN ISLAND worth every minute!" The post was shared with more than 64,000 followers and was tagged at Port Richmond High School in Staten Island, the Daily Beast reported.
Griffith, who has been with SoulCycle "since 1996 and has been delivering sold-out indoor cycling classes to the masses in both LA and NY,” according to the company’s website, claimed that she “had had the same opportunity everyone else has by going online and filling out a questionnaire,” and didn’t call in any “favors” or pay money, the Daily Beast reported.
Even so, her actions have caused an uproar as thousands of eligible candidates continue to deal with the impending shortage, with many responding that they and their loved ones, some of whom had serious underlying health issues, had been unable to secure an appointment for the vaccine, the New York Post reported.
One man wrote that his wife who is suffering from stage 4 cancer and who has to deal with the fear of going to the hospital cancer center weekly to receive life-sustaining treatment, is at least two to three months out from being eligible for a vaccine and that he is four to five months out as her caretaker.
“But yes, let’s celebrate that we are making the world safe for an in-person spin class in the midst of a global pandemic, Gabrielle Novacek of Chicago wrote, the Post reported.
Griffith did not respond to Inside Edition Digital’s request for comment.
Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the controversy during a Sunday press briefing, saying “it doesn’t sound like someone who should’ve gotten vaccinated to me.” "It should have been caught in the application process," he said.
In mid-January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new guidelines that expanded those eligible for the coronavirus vaccinations that included more older residents and workers deemed essential. Under the state's previously strict eligibility guidelines, medical providers were forced to throw out unused doses, Business Insider reported.
However, New York's eligibility guidelines have not yet opened vaccines to fitness instructors. Griffith does not appear to work a second job that qualifies her for the vaccine, according to Business Insider.
Griffith told The Daily Beast that she deleted the Instagram post about the vaccine due to negative responses, but continued to defend her actions.
On Monday, Griffith apologized on her Instagram and sent out this message.
“I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for my recent action in receiving the vaccine,” Griffith wrote in the post, the New York Post reported. “I made a terrible error in judgment, and for that, I am truly sorry.”
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