Chris Christie, who just spent a week in the hospital battling the coronavirus, on Thursday said he was “wrong” to have not worn a mask at the White House Amy Coney Barrett nominating event and during his debate preparation sessions with Donald Trump. He also said that people should take the threat of the deadly virus seriously. More than a dozen people who attended the White House event have contracted the illness.
In an interview with The New York Times and in a written statement, Christie said that he had believed he was in a “safe zone” at the White House while he was there. He urged people to follow best practices, like mask wearing and social distancing.
In an indication that he had more than just mild symptoms of the virus, Christie told The Times he had “spent days” in the intensive care unit of Morristown Medical Center in northern New Jersey. The former Garden State governor checked himself into the hospital on Oct. 3 at the insistence of his doctor. Christie was at an especially high risk for serious negative effects of the coronavirus because of his weight and being an asthmatic.
Christie’s statement said: “I believed when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that I and many others underwent every day. I was wrong. I was wrong not to wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the president and the rest of the team. I hope that my experience shows my fellow citizens that you should follow CDC guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.”
Christie left the hospital on Oct. 10 and has now been cleared to have regular contact with others, he said. He said he was treated with a combination of blood thinners, the Ebola drug Remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly. That drug trial was recently paused over safety concerns.
He said that he still suffers from some fatigue, but nowhere near the levels he did when he was first sick.