Former New Jersey Governor and close Trump-ally Chris Christie, who suffered a coronavirus infection earlier this month after numerous trips to the White House, expressed remorse for growing complacent about the lack of precautions, saying he was “wrong” not to wear a mask.
Christie told the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman that he believed he had “entered a safe zone” when going to the White House due to the extensive coronavirus testing done on him and his colleagues.
However, Christie said, he should have worn a mask during debate prep sessions with Trump and at an event celebrating Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination, which has been widely dubbed a “super-spreader” event.
Christie’s public remorsefulness is unique among the dozens of Trump staffers, GOP lawmakers and other White House-connected individuals who contracted the virus in recent weeks, most of whom have not spoken publicly about their infections.
While not attacking Trump directly, Christie said he “shouldn’t have relied on” the White House’s assurances that everyone in the first three rows of the Barrett event tested negative, and said of the nation’s coronavirus response, “we have not treated Americans as adults, who understand truth, sacrifice and responsibility.”
Christie’s comments put him in stark contrast with Trump, who has erroneously held up his own infection as evidence the virus is easily beatable – despite his high quality of care – and pointed to his son’s lack of symptoms as an example of why schools should be swiftly reopened.
Forbes has reached out to the White House for comment.
Christie, who has asthma, suffered one of the most serious infections of anyone connected to the White House’s coronavirus cluster. In addition to spending a week in the hospital – which he called a “precautionary measure” upon checking in – Christie said he had taken remdesivir, an experimental treatment typically reserved for more severe cases.
“I hope that my experience shows my fellow citizens that you should follow C.D.C. guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others,” Christie said.
Trump has often shrugged off coronavirus precautions and expressed hostility towards masks, even mocking Democratic candidate Joe Biden during the first presidential debate in August for wearing the “biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
Christie Says He Was ‘Wrong’ Not to Wear Masks at White House (New York Times)