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Chris Christie stars in national ad saying it was a mistake not to wear a mask at the White House

“This message isn’t for everyone. It’s 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,” Christie says in the ad. “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.”
A source with knowledge of the matter told CNN that the ad is being paid for by the family foundation of philanthropist Ray Chambers. Chambers is a former financier from New Jersey, worked for the United Nations for 10 years and currently serves as the ambassador for global strategy for the World Health Organization.
Over the summer and fall, Christie’s firm, Christie 55 Solutions, lobbied for coronavirus aid on behalf of several New Jersey hospital systems, including Hackensack Meridian Health, according to lobbying disclosures. Chambers sits on the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s board of governors. The school is a joint venture between Seton Hall University and Hackensack Meridian Health.
The ad will appear on television over the next two weeks, with spots set to air on Fox News Channel, Newsmax and SiriusXM Radio.
Christie, who suffers from asthma, had checked himself into a hospital with Covid-19 in October, a few days after preparing President Donald Trump for his first presidential debate of the election at the White House.
Christie, a longtime Trump supporter, was among a group of senior campaign staffers who were tested after the President’s positive diagnosis, which had led to Trump being hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Christie was also at the White House Rose Garden ceremony announcing Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court — an event where many guests were seen not wearing masks nor practicing social distancing. The event has subsequently been labeled by some public health experts as a “superspreader” event, given that a dozen attendees disclosed that they had contracted Covid-19 in the days after the ceremony.
The former New Jersey governor has previously said he regrets not wearing a mask, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that mask wearing is not a “partisan or cultural symbol.”
He wrote that he let his guard down during debate prep with Trump, where he said earlier this month that “no one was wearing masks.”
“I mistook the bubble of security around the President for a viral safe zone. I was wrong. There is no safe zone from this virus,” Christie wrote.
After Trump’s hospitalization, masks at campaign rallies were not required and supporters were often seen crowded together.
At any events at the White House in recent months — including an Election Day party and more recent holiday parties — social distancing and mask wearing has been part of guidelines, but those protocols have often gone unobserved.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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