Christie, 58, went to the White House in late September to help Trump prepare for a debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Christie and others in the room had been tested for COVID-19 but no one was wearing masks, Christie said previously.
“I believed that 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,” Christie said in a lengthy statement issued Thursday night. “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 session with the President and the rest of the team.”
Christie later tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. He required treatment in a hospital, but has since been discharged.
The former governor revealed he spent seven days in the intensive care unit at Morristown Medical Center. Christie said the treatments he received included a monoclonal antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly and the antiviral Remdesivir, made by California-based Gilead Sciences.
Christie urged people to take the virus “very seriously,” calling the ramifications “wildly random and potentially deadly.”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani listen as President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the White House on Sept. 27, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
In an appearance Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Christie called not wearing a mask to the nomination ceremony of Barrett and the White House visits “a mistake.”
“I was led to believe that, you know, all the people that I was interacting with at the White House had been tested, and it gave you a false sense of security. And it was a mistake,” he said.
“You know, I’ve been so careful George for seven months because of my asthma, wearing masks, washing my hands, social distancing. And for seven months, I was able to avoid the virus and one of the worst hit states in the country in New Jersey. But I let my guard down. And it was wrong. It was just a big mistake.”
Christie added later: “I was wrong.”
Told of Christie’s comments Thursday night, Trump said during a town hall in Florida that Christie “has to say that.”
“I think it’s great, he’s a friend of mine. He’s a good guy. And wrong or not wrong; you have to understand, as president, I can’t be locked in a room someplace for the next year and just stay and do nothing. And every time I go into a crowd—I was with the parents of our fallen heroes. These people are the most incredible people. And they came up to me and they would hug me, and they would touch me, and I’m not going to not let them do it, to be honest with you,” he said, referring to an event held one day after Barrett’s nomination.
President Donald Trump looks on during a commercial break during a live one-hour town hall forum with a group of Florida voters in Miami, Fla., Oct. 15, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
Trump said he is “okay with masks” and tells people to wear a mask but noted that some people contract the virus even though they’re wearing masks.
He also pointed to a study (pdf) that showed a majority of patients said they wore masks often or always before testing positive for COVID-19.
Biden, Trump’s rival, said during his competing town hall that Trump “is still not wearing masks, and so on” as he criticized the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic.
“The words of a president matter,” he added later. “No matter whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent, they matter. And when a president doesn’t wear a mask or makes fun of folks like me, when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then people say, ‘Well, it mustn’t be that important.’”