Chris Christie said Donald Trump called him when they were both in the hospital with COVID-19 asking the former New Jersey governor not reveal he got the infection from the then-president.
‘Are you gonna say you got it from me?’ Trump asked when calling from Walter Reed Medical Center in October 2020, Christie revealed in his book, according to an excerpt published in The New York Times Monday.
Christie and Trump both came down with coronavirus after the ‘superspreader’ event in the White House Rose Garden after Amy Coney Barrett was selected to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The reception included some of the biggest names in government at the time and while it was held outside, very few masks were seen being worn.
Several people who attended the event and were seen mingling with Trump also were infected with coronavirus – including Christie.
The former Republican governor was hospitalized in New Jersey the day after Trump was moved to Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland for treatment.
He wrote about his priest visiting him in the hospital to give him his late rites, which included rubbing oils on his forehead in the sign of the cross and praying over him.
Donald Trump called Chris Christie when they were both in the hospital being treated for coronavirus, asking the former New Jersey governor: ‘Are you gonna say you got it from me?’
Christie, who was already in the category of being at higher risk with COVID due to his weight, spent a week in the ICU with a very serious bout of coronavirus.
The book, ‘Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden,’ reveals Christie received several other calls while in the hospital from people worried about his health.
Upon his discharge, Christie said he regretted not wearing a mask at the reception for Coney Barrett. He also urged at the time that Americans use protective gear while Trump and allies continued to balk at the health safety recommendations at the onset of the pandemic.
The former Trump ally told Axios on HBO in clips of an interview published Monday that he has not spoken to the former president since before the January 6 Capitol riot.
Christie and Trump were both hospitalized following a ‘superspreader’ at a White House reception for Amy Coney Barrett on September 26, 2020 (pictured)
Trump delivers a message from Walter Reed Medical Center while being treated for coronavirus. Christie spent a week in the ICU with a case of virus so bad that his priest gave him his late rites
Christie said he was ‘desperate’ to reach Trump on the day of the attack and corresponded with Kellyanne Conway to strategize on how to get Trump to denounce the violence.
‘I tried to call him… to give him advice on what I thought he needed to be doing to stop the violence,’ Christie said during an hour long interview at his home in New Jersey.
‘I called Kellyanne Conway first,’ he said in reference to the former senior counselor to Trump who had resigned four months prior. ‘And I said to her: ‘Have you spoken to him?’ And she said she had not. And she said: ‘I think we both need to call him.’ And I said: ‘Absolutely.”
‘So I then called the president’s secretary,’ Christie continued. ‘Couldn’t get through. I then called his body guy. Didn’t pick up. I then called the president’s cell phone, and he didn’t pick up.’
‘I was desperate to try to get in touch with him, because I felt like what was happening was awful and was going to be a stain on his presidency, and I wanted him to be the guy to stand up and stop it,’ he said.
Christie added: ‘But he didn’t take the call, and so I said what I would have said to him privately on the air on ABC.’
Christie’s book ‘Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden’ is coming out Tuesday
The duo were once very close, but Christie fell out of grace with the president after his election loss – even though just months before he was helping Trump prepare for his debate with then-candidate Joe Biden.
The former New Jersey governor, who had a record low approval rating when leaving office, has spoken out against Trump in the last year.
‘An election for president was held on November 3, 2020,’ Christie writes in his book. ‘Joe Biden won. Donald Trump did not.’
During a donor event in Las Vegas earlier this month, Christie urged the Republican Party to move on from Trump and leave behind claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged or stolen by Democrats.
‘We can no longer talk about the past and the past elections,’ Christie said at the event. ‘No matter where you stand on that issue, no matter where you stand, it is over.’
Trump released a statement in response to Christie’s criticisms bashing his former ally.
Christie reiterated to Axios that the GOP needs to move on from 2020 to win future elections, but said he still considers Trump a friend and would have supported him over Biden.
‘If we waste our time as Republicans talking about an election that we lost, we are going to lose future elections,’ he said, adding that potential Republican contenders for president in 2024 should not defer to whether Trump is running.
‘Those people who say that they will defer to Donald Trump have disqualified themselves from being president,’ Christie said. ‘You shouldn’t defer to anyone if you believe you’re the best person.’