Chris Christie says he was “wrong” to remove his mask at the White House and implored others to wear one amid the coronavirus pandemic in a new national advertisement.
The former governor of New Jersey, who tested positive for the virus in October and then spent a week at Morristown Medical Center, says in the ad that it’s not “for everyone,” but “for all those people who refuse to wear a mask.”
“You know, lying in isolation in ICU for seven days I thought about how wrong I was to remove my mask at the White House,” says Christie. “Today, I think about how wrong it is to let mask-wearing divide us, especially as we now know you’re twice as likely to get COVID-19 if you don’t wear a mask. Because if you don’t do the right thing, we could all end up on the wrong side of history. Please wear a mask.”
The ad is reportedly being “paid for by the family foundation of philanthropist Ray Chambers,” a former financier in Christie’s home state who currently serves as the ambassador for global strategy for the World Health Organization, per CNN. The network also reported that the ad is slated to appear on TV over the next two weeks, with spots on Fox News, SiriusXM Radio and Newsmax.
Following his own COVID-19 diagnosis, which he announced about a week after he was seen sans mask at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House, Christie has been very vocal about his regrets for not wearing one.
In an interview with the The New York Times after his recovery from the virus, he explained that he “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.”
“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,” said the longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, who had announced his own COVID-19 diagnosis just a day ahead of Christie’s.
A week after his interview with the Times, Christie wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal that critiqued Trump for politicizing the pandemic.
“One of the worst aspects of America’s divided politics is the polarization of something as practical as a mask,” Christie wrote. “It’s 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. Wear it or you may regret it — as I did.”