jess maiolo in front of a news report about a child with covid, rx0rcist messaging maiolo's team


Athlete body shames hospitalized teen with COVID on TikTok, says he ‘needs a f*cking treadmill’ instead of the vaccine (updated)

Paintball player Jessica Maiolo has since deleted her social media accounts.


Brooke Sjoberg

Internet Culture

Published Aug 7, 2021   Updated Aug 11, 2021, 10:08 am CDT

A Team USA Paintball athlete has come under fire after posting a video in which she says a hospitalized teen does not need a COVID-19 vaccine, but a treadmill.

“Ma’am, your kid does not need a COVID shot,” Team USA Paintball member Jess Maiolo said in a now-deleted TikTok. “Your kid needs a fuckin’ treadmill.”

The video shows Maiolo superimposed over a screen grab of another video showing a news broadcast of a teenager who has been hospitalized due to the coronavirus. The original video was reposted with commentary from @rx0rcist, a TikTok creator who frequently posts videos calling out others for spreading COVID misinformation on the platform.

Maiolo’s TikTok account has since been banned due to community guidelines violations. Her Instagram and Facebook pages also seem to have been taken down.

After sharing what was said by Maiolo, @rx0rcist wrote that she is messaging the Team USA Paintball Instagram account, claiming to do so daily until she gets a response.

According to @rx0rcist, an apology video from Maiolo is imminent.

“Just got word that an apology video is coming,” she wrote. “I’m not interested (nor is it mine to accept). She needs to be dropped from the team.”

@rx0rcist wrote that she contacted sponsors as well.

“Update for the night: Team USA Paintball has not yet responded,” @rx0rcist wrote yesterday. “Sponsors have been contacted. Check my IG for more. Will update here tomorrow.”


The video was enough for some to send their own messages to the paintball team. As of Aug. 7, comments on the team Instagram page have been limited.

Another commenter wrote that she couldn’t understand behaving this way when children are sick.

“I’ve seen so many videos of adults being mean to children and even babies because they are in the hospital with COVID,” she wrote. “I don’t understand it.”

Update 10:08am CT Aug. 11: According to CBS News, the Team USA Paintball team announced on Monday that Maiolo was removed from the team, saying in a statement that it has “no tolerance for discrimination or bullying of any kind.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to both @rx0rcist and Team USA Paintball. Maiolo could not be reached for this story.

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*First Published: Aug 7, 2021, 2:09 pm CDT