Chris Christie Still Hospitalized with Coronavirus 6 Days After Saying He Was Infected: Reports
Gov. Phil Murphy called his predecessor "the quintessential Jersey fighter”
Christie, 57 — who first said he tested positive last Saturday, among a wave of infections around the Trump White House — is at higher risk for complications due to underlying health issues, including asthma.
A source told NJ.com on Wednesday that Christie was in good spirits and not on a ventilator; sources told the site that there had been no change as of Thursday afternoon.
In an interview with NJ.com, current Gov. Phil Murphy called his predecessor "the quintessential Jersey fighter.” The outlet noted that the median length of hospital stays for coronavirus patients outside of China is five days.
Reporter and Christie biographer Matt Katz backed up those reports about Christie’s health, telling WNYC on Thursday that several of the governor's friends confirmed Christie was feeling good enough to make phone calls from his hospital room that day.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper tweeted Tuesday that he had communicated with Christie, and Christie likewise called a New Jersey newspaper columnist from the hospital on Monday morning. An Associated Press report published that same day cited Christie's son Andrew saying he was in a coronavirus isolation room but "doing well," the AP wrote.
(Christie could not be reached for comment by PEOPLE on Friday.)
One day after it was announced that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus, Christie said in a tweet that he was also sick. In the days following those announcements, more than a dozen Trump aides, allies in Congress and officials in the administration have also confirmed positive tests.
In a tweet shortly after announcing his diagnosis, Christie said he had checked himself in to Morristown Medical Center on the advice of his doctors, sharing that he had "only mild symptoms" but would be hospitalized as a precaution.
"I am thankful for our hardworking medical professionals and look forward to coming home soon," he tweeted Saturday.
The former governor, who served on Trump's transition team and remains close with the campaign, helped the president prep for his first debate against Joe Biden in the days before Trump's positive test late on Oct. 1.
Christie previously told ABC News that no one wore masks in the debate prep, and the president has resisted using them despite health guidance that they are key preventative measures.
Others reportedly involved in that prep, including Trump advisers Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks, also tested positive. (Many of those infected were also in attendance at a large Sept. 26 event in the Rose Garden for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.)
Christie previously drew criticism for some of his views regarding containment of the coronavirus pandemic.
In May, he argued that states should move to reopen with some restrictions, saying that people were "gonna have to" get used to the idea of thousands of more people dying as a result of reopening, which was needed to aid the economy. (Trump has made similar arguments, saying the shutdown and resulting financial pain causes spikes in overdoses, suicides and other social ills.)
"Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can, but the question is: Toward what end, ultimately?" Christie told CNN's Dana Bash, on her Daily DC podcast. "Are there ways that we can thread the needle here to allow that there are going to be deaths and there are going to be deaths no matter what?"
"The economic devastation is equally sad," he said then.