Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a new television ad he regrets not wearing a mask while visiting the White House in the fall.
Christie, 58, was hospitalized in October and spent a week in ICU with COVID-19. He is a Republican and supporter of President Donald Trump.
“This message isn’t for everyone; it’s for all those people who refuse to wear a mask,” Christie said in the commercial. “Lying in isolation in ICU for seven days, I thought about how wrong I was to remove my mask at the White House. Today, I think about how wrong it is to let mask-wearing divide us.”
Christie tweeted Wednesday:
“I am very happy today for this ad to start to run on TV across America. I urge all Americans to learn from my experience and to, please, wear a mask and stay safe.”
A source told CNN the ad is being paid for by the family foundation of philanthropist Ray Chambers, who currently serves as the ambassador for global strategy for the World Health Organization.
Previously in The Wall Street Journal op-ed, Christie said mask wearing was not a “partisan or cultural symbol.”
Christie was at the White House without a mask when the president nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The ex-governor later was maskless in close contact with the president during preparations for the first debate with Joe Biden.
Christie, who suffers from asthma, was diagnosed with COVID-19 several days after it was confirmed President Trump and wife Melania Trump had contracted the illness.
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