Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie revealed Saturday he tested positive for the coronavirus and checked into a hospital near his home citing concerns about his history with asthma, which previously led to him being briefly hospitalized during his term as governor.
Christie, 58, was hospitalized in 2011 – less than two years into his first term as governor – at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville after suffering an asthma attack. Dozens of camera crews congregated at the hospital as he underwent tests for a day because he was a potential Republican presidential candidate at the time. He later ran for the GOP nomination for president in 2016, before bowing out to President Donald Trump.
Christie’s asthma and weight, which he’s struggled with over the years, could put him at an elevated risk of developing complications from the coronavirus.
State troopers who were driving him to the event decided to skip it and take him to the hospital instead after Christie spoke with them. Tests were conducted and other health ailments, including cardiac problems, were ruled out. A transfer of power to the lieutenant governor was not considered then since he did not become incapacitated. He had remained in touch with his office after he arrived at the hospital.
Christie has had asthma since he was a teen and was hospitalized at least once before in law school because of breathing problems. He was back at work the day after the attack in 2011.
The former governor helped Trump, who has also tested positive for the coronavirus, prepare for a debate against Joe Biden last week inside without a mask. Christie, a Mendham resident who also owns a Jersey Shore home in Bay Head, noted his history with asthma when he checked into Morristown Medical Center on Saturday.