As former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spends his sixth day in a hospital being treated for COVID-19, current Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday his predecessor is “the quintessential Jersey fighter.”
Christie’s exact condition remains unknown and it’s still unclear what course of treatment he’s receiving. The 58-year-old hasn’t tweeted since Saturday, and doctors, family, and friends have not made any public announcements about how he’s doing.
But a source familiar with the situation told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday that Christie was in good spirits, getting good care, and is not on a ventilator.
Multiple sources said there were no changes as of Thursday afternoon.
Murphy, a Democrat who succeeded Republican Christie in 2018, said he “exchanged notes” with Christie on Wednesday night but has “no further insight” into his condition.
“I shot him a note, as I had done a couple of days earlier, just to say that we’re here for him,” Murphy said during his latest coronavirus briefing in Trenton. “He was very gracious in his reply. And he remains in our prayers.”
“He is a fighter, let there be no doubt about it,” Murphy added. “He’s the quintessential Jersey fighter. We’re all with him in thoughts, prayers, and we’re here to do whatever we can for him.”
Christie’s stay is currently slightly 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.
Christie announced Saturday morning he tested positive for the the coronavirus — a day after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they had tested positive. Since then, more than a dozen aides and officials in Trump’s orbit have also tested positive.
Christie — who has struggled with his weight and has a long history of asthma — tweeted Saturday night that despite “feeling good” and having only “mild symptoms,” he checked himself into the hospital Saturday as a precautionary measure. 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.
CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage
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 10 others at the Rose Garden event on Sept. 26 have since tested positive, including New Jersey native Kellyanne Conway, a former adviser to the president. Masks and social distancing were largely ignored at the ceremony, now feared to be a super-spreader event.
Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager an another New Jersey native, has also tested positive.
Trump announced he tested positive early Friday night and was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland later that afternoon. He returned to the White House on Monday evening after three days in the hospital 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.
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.
Brent Johnson may be reached at [email protected].