Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey at the White House. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he was “wrong” not to wear a mask to the White House Rose Garden event for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Christie along with a number of other attendees and other White House officials later tested positive for COVID-19.
In an interview with The New York Times, Christie detailed his experience since his COVID-19 diagnosis, saying he hopes his experience shows others that “you should follow CDC guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.”
Christie tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month and was hospitalized for a week as he was at high risk to develop severe symptoms given his weight and asthma. He has since been released from the hospital and was cleared for regular contact.
“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,” Christie told The Times.
“I was wrong,” he continued. “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.”
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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was recently hospitalized after contracting COVID-19, told The New York Times he was “wrong” for not wearing a mask at the White House and with the president.
Christie attended the White House event for SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett on September 26. More than a dozen attendees, including former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, tested positive for COVID-19 in the weeks after the event.
The former New Jersey governor also met with President Donald Trump, who announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on October 2, to help him prepare for the first presidential debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which took place on September 29.
“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,” Christie told The Times on Thursday. “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,” he continued.
Christie told The Times that he was sitting in the third row of the packed White House and said he was told that “everybody in the first three rows had been tested that day and tested negative.”
“I shouldn’t have relied on that,” he told The Times, adding that he was contacted by local health officials in New Jersey, where he lives, to contact-trace the outbreak. He said the White House did not reach out to him in the same regard.
Christie spent a week in the intensive care unit at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey as he was at high risk for severe symptoms given his weight and asthma. He was released from the hospital on October 10 and was cleared to no longer quarantine, he told The Times.
Christie said he hopes his experience with the coronavirus serves as an example to others that “you should follow CDC guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.”
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