Oct 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did"

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (C) talks with guests in the Rose Garden in September
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (C) and other guests at the White House Rose Garden ceremony for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Sept. 26. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was hospitalized with COVID-19, implored people in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday to wear masks "or you may regret it — as I did."

The big picture: Christie didn't wear a mask when he helped President Trump prepare for the first presidential debate nor during the White House Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett in September. "I let my guard down and left my mask off," Christie wrote in the WSJ article.

"[I]t was a serious failure for me, as a public figure, to go maskless at the White House. I paid for it, and I hope Americans can learn from my experience. I am lucky to be alive."

What else he's saying: Christie noted he had been "very careful about mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing," but he "mistook the bubble of security around the president for a viral safe zone." He said he was wrong. "There is no safe zone from this virus," he added.

  • Christie wrote that wearing a face covering is "not a partisan or cultural symbol, not a sign of weakness or virtue."
  • "It's simply a good method — not a perfect one, but a proven one—to contain a cough or prevent the virus from getting in your mouth or nose," he said.

Of note: Christie wrote in the WSJ article that he remains a supporter of the "rapid reopening" of businesses and institutions.

Go deeper: Christie says he was in ICU, admits he was "wrong not to wear mask" at White House

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