Chris Christie Speaks Out on His 'Serious Failure'

Former NJ governor regrets not wearing a mask at Rose Garden event, implores others to
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2020 10:45 AM CDT
Chris Christie Speaks Out on His 'Serious Failure'
In this 2017 file photo, Chris Christie speaks during a news conference in Newark, NJ.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Chris Christie is pushing for people to wear face masks, and he has good reason to push for them: He caught COVID-19 himself after attending the Rose Garden event last month for Amy Coney Barrett's nomination, and now he's regretting how lax he was about safety protocols. "I mistook the bubble of security around the president for a viral safe zone," he writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. "I was wrong. There is no safe zone from this virus." The ex-New Jersey governor details how he began feeling sick a few days after the event, and how he waited out his hospitalization on "a thin thread." He now says he's lucky he survived, and that "it was a serious failure for me, as a public figure, to go maskless at the White House." Christie also looks at the bigger picture of mask wearing, and how it's become a polarizing concept that many are still resistant to.

"It's not a partisan or cultural symbol, not a sign of weakness or virtue," he writes. "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 says this doesn't mean he's not a proponent of getting the country reopened quickly—he is—but that a return to some semblance of normalcy can't happen "if partisan media and public officials send mixed messages." In fact, "those who deny the scientific realities of the pandemic undermine conditions that allow for rapid and complete reopening," he notes. Without naming any names, he implores leaders to "trust the American people with the truth. I do believe that we can use this public health tragedy to bring our country together." More here. (More Chris Christie stories.)

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