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Chris Christie on Friday morning gave his first interview since leaving the hospital where he was in the ICU for seven days while battling COVID-19. The ABC contributor told Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos that he is a changed man.
Now he hopes to influence Donald Trump, who has been lackadaisical at best when it comes to mask-wearing. “You know, I heard the president say last night (during an NBC town hall) that he has no problem with masks. I think we should be even more affirmative about it. That’s why I put out the statement I did,” Christie told host Stephanopoulos. He added that he spoke to Trump a number of times while in the hospital and since he has been home.
Prior to the interview, the former New Jersey governor and Trump ally released a statement in which he said he was “wrong” for not taking the virus more seriously while working in the White House where he felt it was safe.
Asked by Stephanopoulos if Trump needed to change his tone and stance on masks, Christie replied that all politicians and stars with a platform “need to be telling people that there is no downside to you wearing masks and, in fact, there can be a great deal of upside.” Trump has largely not been supportive of masks, even going so far as to remove his once he got back to the White House from his own COVID hospital stay, as though it was some act of bravery.
Christie is believed to have been infected either during the Rose Garden ceremony on Sept. 26 for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett — labeled a “superspreader event” by Dr. Anthony Fauci — or during Trump’s debate prep at the White House. He did not wear a mask or social distance at either event.
“What I want people to learn is I was doing it right for seven months and avoiding the virus, I let my guard down for a couple of days inside the White House grounds and it cost me in a significant way,” he said Friday.
Watch the full interview here.
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