Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may have shaded President Donald Trump in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal for politicizing the coronavirus pandemic.
Christie detailed his recovery from COVID-19 and chided public servants and “those in positions of authority” for not getting out a consistent message about the proven benefits of masks. He called out those who deny the “scientific realities of the pandemic” and urged leaders to “level with the American people.”
The president has been guilty of ignoring such advice and even warned voters recently that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will “listen to the scientists” — as if that were a bad thing.
Trump has repeatedly defied the recommendations of his infectious disease experts, flouted mask and social distance guidelines and pushed states to reopen quickly. (Christie still supports “rapid reopening.”)
Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has exceeded 220,000.
Christie also expressed regret for going maskless at Trump’s White House event for Amy Coney Barrett, which experts called a superspreader event. But he stopped short of blaming Trump for getting the virus. (Christie was also maskless while counseling the president before the first debate.)
But Christie’s words in the Journal, intentionally or not, cut awfully close to what critics saw as Trump’s most egregious blunders in managing the global outbreak.
“One of the worst aspects of America’s divided politics is the polarization of something as practical as a mask,” Christie said. “It’s not a partisan or cultural symbol, not a sign of weakness or virtue. It’s simply a good method — not a perfect one, but a proven one — to contain a cough or prevent the virus from getting in your mouth or nose. Wear it or you may regret it — as I did.”
Read Christie’s entire essay in The Wall Street Journal.
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