A celebrity SoulCycle instructor has sparked outrage after securing one of the coveted New York City COVID vaccines.
Stacey Griffith, 52, who has trained Kelly Ripa, Demi Lovato and Brooke Shields and worked with Oprah Winfrey, posted on Friday an Instagram photo of her being vaccinated.
‘VACCINE DAY! Step one of the Moderna magic!!’ she wrote.
‘One hour drive to STATEN ISLAND worth every minute! It takes a village.’
Stacey Griffith, 52, has been a SoulCycle instructor since 1996, earning $800 a class
The Instagram post to her 64,000 followers has since been deleted, but within moments, The Daily Beast reported, a backlash erupted.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Bill de Blasio have both complained repeatedly about the scarcity of the vaccine, begging the federal government to send more.
‘My wife is a stage 4 cancer patient who has to deal with the fear and risk of going into a hospital cancer center weekly, while immunosuppressed, during COVID, in order to receive the treatment that is keeping her alive,’ wrote Gabrielle Novacek, a Chicago-based consultant commented.
‘She is at least 2-3 months out from being eligible for a vaccine.
‘As the caretaker she depends on to provide her with support, I’m at least 4-5 months out.
‘But yes, let’s celebrate that we are making the world safe for in-person spin class in the midst of a global pandemic. What’s left of any respect that I had for Soul and the leaders it celebrates is done and gone.’
O-pproved! Oprah has also enlisted her for several events including the Life You Want Weekend in 2014 (Pictured)
Morning show ladies: She counts Kelly Ripa as a longtime client, and Hoda Kotb has taken her classes as well
Other celebrity friends and fans include Derek Blasberg (left) and Demi Lovato (right)
Loyal: Brooke Shields has also been going to her classes for years
Griffith defended her decision to get vaccinated as a teacher, saying it helped others in class
Griffith is one of SoulCycle’s highest-paid and most sought-after instructors
‘Having me vaccinated can stop the short spread within groups!’ she said, via text.
‘I function as a common point for many overlapping people. 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. I can only teach to them if I am healthy myself.’
SoulCycle’s indoor classes have been replaced by outdoor sessions during the pandemic.
Griffith added that she ‘had the same opportunity everyone else has by going online and filling out a questionnaire’ and insisted that she pulled ‘no favors, I paid no money to anyone.’
‘All teachers are eligible to apply for the vaccine. My post today was to show my confidence in the system, in our government, and I hope everyone can at least feel more at ease knowing I went through the process!’ she added.
Asked if all SoulCycle instructors would be eligible for the vaccine, she told the site: ‘Absolutely not.’
Famous: Stacey has over 66,000 Instagram followers and a fitness fan following
Griffith was vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Moderna injection in New York City
‘This is sickening. She basically stole a #CovidVaccine dose away from a much more vulnerable person or an actual in-person teacher of children,’ said one person on Twitter.
‘There needs to be a serious $$ fine or public service payback (how about driving the elderly to get their shot?) for line-jumpers.’
Another said: ‘There should be no group classes in NYC at the moment. She SC should fire her for impersonating a school teacher.’
New York City is currently in what is termed Phase 1B of the vaccination rollout.
Healthcare workers, residents over 65, grocery store workers, and certain types of teachers are eligible for vaccination.
‘Generally speaking, it’s difficult for us to comment on individuals due to confidentiality,’ said a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Health.
Griffith with girlfriend Michelle Smith, a fashion designer, in October 2019
De Blasio on Wednesday said that Moderna vaccine deliveries had been delayed, and that he had asked the federal government for increases in shipments and the ability to use second doses on first shots for new patients.
‘We have had to reschedule 23,000 New Yorkers, and tell them that they will not be able to get that appointment due to lack of supply,’ de Blasio said.
A spokesperson for the New York City Mayor’s office told The Daily Beast: ‘Under Phase 1B, celebrity cycling instructors are ineligible for vaccination.’
SoulCycle has not commented.
Griffith confirmed she had deleted her post amid the uproar.
‘I hate controversy,’ she told The Daily Beast.
‘It saddens me that people go so dark and mean, I’m really just trying to do the right thing and be safe.’