Christie tests positive for coronavirus after helping Trump prep for debate

Chris Christie has tested positive for the coronavirus, the former New Jersey governor announced Saturday.

“I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19. I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two,” said Christie, 58.

Christie, a Mendham resident, said he will be receiving medical attention Saturday, but did not reveal if he was exhibiting any symptoms.

Christie previously said he was not at President Donald Trump’s fundraiser at the Bedminster golf course Thursday, but had spent four mask-less days inside with Trump earlier in the week to prepare for the presidential debate.

He was also spotted in the Rose Garden last Saturday for the formal nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Following the ceremony — where masks were scarce and social distancing largely ignored — video footage captured Christie embracing other attendees.

Christie is at least the 14th person close to the Trump administration to test positive, including campaign manager Bill Stepien and former advisor Kellyanne Conway, both New Jersey natives. At least seven people to test positive also attended the Rose Garden event, according to Politico.

Hours after Trump announced his positive test Friday, Christie thanked those who had reached out to see if he was OK.

“I feel fine and have no symptoms,” he Tweeted. While a test Tuesday had been negative, Christie said he was tested again Friday morning — which proved to be positive.

The news of Christie’s positive result comes on the heels of Trump’s admission to Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland to be treated for coronavirus Friday evening.

And because Trump attended a roundtable at his Bedminster golf club with high-paying donors just hours before he announced his positive test, New Jersey has remained at the center of the spotlight as the list of people who tested positive continues to grow.

Guests said the president looked healthy at the event, showed no signs of fatigue or ailment, and stuck around for 45 minutes for a Q&A session. One attendee estimated roughly 300 people in attendance.

Christie, who left office in 2016 as the most unpopular governor in state history after two turbulent terms marred by the Bridgegate scandal and a government shutdown that led to the infamous “Beachgate” photo, has remained loyal to the president since backing his candidacy in 2016.

In the days after Trump won the 2016 election, Christie was seen as a favorite for a role in the cabinet — but he was fired as head of transition team shortly after Election Day. He stepped into a similar role in September, prior to the first presidential debate.

Along with Stepien and Conway, Christie helped him prepare to go head-to-head with former Vice President Joe Biden.

He told Good Morning America that he tested negative every day he went to the White House, from Sept 26 to Sept. 29.

Debate moderator Chris Wallace told Fox News that candidates didn’t arrive in time to be tested for coronavirus by the Cleveland Clinic. Biden and his wife, Jill, tested negative Friday.

Gov. Phil Murphy said local and county officials have already begin contact tracing to determine if other attendees or employees were exposed to the virus. He urges anyone who attended to get tested and self-quarantine.

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/10/christie-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-after-helping-trump-prep-for-debate.html

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