Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Saturday morning he left the hospital a week of being treated at Morristown Medical Center for the coronavirus.
The 58-year-old did not divulge how he is feeling, promising in a tweet to say more “about all of this” sometime next week.
“I am happy to let you know that this morning I was released from Morristown Medical Center,” Christie tweeted at 9:14 a.m. “I want to thank the extraordinary doctors & nurses who cared for me for the last week. Thanks to my family & friends for their prayers. I will have more to say about all of this next week.”
The announcement comes a week after he announced last Saturday, Oct. 3, that he checked himself in as a precautionary measure after testing positive for COVID. The 58-year-old former presidential candidate is one of more than a dozen aides or allies of President Donald Trump who have tested positive over the last two weeks.
Christie had not given a public update on his condition in the last week, nor had any of his family members or friends. He told CNN that doctors prescribed remdesivir, an anti-viral drug that Trump took while he was recently hospitalized with the coronavirus.
A source familiar with the situation told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday that Christie was in good spirits, getting good care, and was not on a ventilator. Multiple sources said there were no changes to that as of Friday afternoon.
Christie’s successor, current Gov. Phil Murphy, tweeted Saturday morning that he and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy are “so glad” to hear Christie was released.
Murphy, a Democrat, called Christie, a Republican, “the quintessential Jersey fighter” earlier this week.
Christie appears to have had the most serious COVID-19 case among those in Trump’s inner circle, CNN reported Friday. None of the others who have gotten the illness are known to be hospitalized, other than the president himself. Others have either been recovering at home or waiting to find out test results, according to CNN.
Christie’s stay in Morristown was longer than an average COVID-19 hospitalization. Five days is the median length of hospital stays for coronavirus patients outside of China, according to an analysis of 52 studies published last month in BMC Medicine.
But Adam Jarrett, chief medical officer at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, told NJ Advance Media a seven- to nine-day hospital admission “doesn’t surprise me at all with this disease.”
Christie announced the morning of Oct. 3 he tested positive for the the coronavirus — a day after Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they had tested positive.
Christie — who has struggled with his weight and has a long history of asthma — tweeted later that day that he checked himself into the hospital as a precautionary measure despite “feeling good” and having only “mild symptoms.” Because of his conditions, the Mendham resident is at higher risk of developing complications from the virus.
Morristown Medical Center is not just his local hospital but also one of the most highly rated health care facilities in the state and the country.
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In the week before his positive test, Christie spent four days helping Trump prepare for the first presidential debate, often in a room with five or six people where no one wore masks. Christie — a longtime Trump friend and ally and fellow Republican — also attended the now-infamous Rose Garden ceremony where Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.
At least 20 others at the Rose Garden event on Sept. 28 have since tested positive, including New Jersey natives Kellyanne Conway, a former adviser to the president, and Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager. Masks and social distancing were largely ignored at the ceremony, now feared to be a super-spreader event.
Trump announced he tested positive on Oct. 1 and was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland on Oct. 2. He returned to the White House three days later and released a video saying he feels better than he has in 20 years and warning people not to let the virus “dominate your lives.”
The U.S. has suffered more than 211,000 coronavirus deaths since the outbreak began earlier this year. New Jersey has lost more than 16,000 residents.
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Brent Johnson may be reached at [email protected].