Chris Christie tests positive for COVID after helping Trump prepare for debate


Former New Jersey Gov Chris Christie has said he has tested positive for coronavirus, after helping President Trump prepare for Tuesday’s presidential debate.

Christie tweeted: ‘I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19. I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two.

‘I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition.’

Christie’s diagnosis came as Trump was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Washington, DC, after he and first lady Melania tested positive. 

Christie had attended debate prep sessions with Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien and former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who have both been confirmed to be infected. 

Christie told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday that he was among five or six people who gathered in the White House’s map room on Monday to help Trump prepare Tuesday’s debate.

And he revealed: ‘No one was wearing masks in the room when we were prepping the president’.

Chris Christie revealed he has tested positive for coronavirus after helping President Trump prepare for Tuesday’s presidential debate

Chritie and Stepien also join at least seven figures in the president’s inner circle who tested positive after attending Amy Coney Barrett’s ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court last weekend.  

Stepien, 42, received the results of his test on Friday night, Politico reported, citing a senior campaign official who said he is suffering ‘mild flu-like symptoms’.  

The campaign manager had traveled to Cleveland with Trump and his team on Tuesday for the first presidential debate, where he was seen in close proximity to the president’s top aide Hope Hicks, who also tested positive. 

The senior official who spoke to Politico said Stepien will work remotely while Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark – who tested negative – is expected to oversee the campaign’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.    

Donald Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien (pictured with the president aboard Air Force One on August 28) tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday

Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien (pictured with the president aboard Air Force One on August 28) tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday

Christie and Stepien join at least seven figures in Trump's inner circle who became infected after attending Amy Coney Barrett's ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court last weekend

Christie and Stepien join at least seven figures in Trump’s inner circle who became infected after attending Amy Coney Barrett’s ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court last weekend

Trump was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday after he and first lady Melania tested positive. The president addressed the nation in a Twitter video (pictured) prior to being hospitalized

Trump was transported to Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday after he and first lady Melania tested positive. The president addressed the nation in a Twitter video (pictured) prior to being hospitalized  

Advisers stressed that Stepien, who became campaign manager in July when Trump replaced Brad Parscale, will maintain control of the campaign, Politico reported.

But his diagnosis undoubtedly throws a wrench into the Trump team as yet another head of the president’s re-election effort, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, also revealed on Friday that she too is infected. 

The news of a coronavirus cluster within Trump’s inner circle came just under a month ahead of the presidential election as polls show the incumbent trailing his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in several key battleground states.    

Cleveland officials said at least 11 people involved in the set-up and planning of Tuesday night’s debate have tested positive for coronavirus, but said that no city residents appear so far to have contracted the virus as a result of the event. 

Cleveland officials said at least 11 people involved in the set-up and planning of Tuesday night's debate (pictured) have tested positive for coronavirus

Cleveland officials said at least 11 people involved in the set-up and planning of Tuesday night’s debate (pictured) have tested positive for coronavirus

Seven people who attended Amy Coney Barrett's ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday have now tested positive for COVID-19, giving rise to fears that it was a 'super-spreader event'

Seven people who attended Amy Coney Barrett’s ceremonial nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday have now tested positive for COVID-19, giving rise to fears that it was a ‘super-spreader event’

The cluster may have emerged three days prior to the debate when Trump announced Barrett as his pick to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. 

The September 26 gathering attracted around 100 people – many of them not wearing face masks and all sitting close. 

Attendees were photographed hugging, shaking hands and chatting without face masks – giving rise to fears that it was a ‘super-spreader event’.

At least seven attendees – Trump, Melania, Hicks, Conway, Sens Mike Lee and Tom Tillis, and Notre Dame University President John Jenkins – have now all tested positive for COVID-19.

Many of the other high-profile figures who attended have not yet been given the all-clear.  

Among them are Attorney General Bill Barr and Fox News host Laura Ingraham,.  

All were seen in close proximity to infected people, and are yet to confirm their negative test results. 

WHO HAS TRUMP BEEN IN CONTACT WITH AND WHO AMONG THEM IS INFECTED

Hope Hicks, counselor to the president – POSITIVE

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump – NEGATIVE   

Barron Trump – NEGATIVE   

Tiffany Trump – NEGATIVE

Eric Trump, Lara Trump – NEGATIVE

Donald Trump Jr, Kimberly Guilfoyle – NEGATIVE

Vice President Mike Pence – NEGATIVE 

Joe Biden and Jill Biden – NEGATIVE 

Dan Scavino, Social Media Director – NEGATIVE 

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel – POSITIVE   

Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff – NEGATIVE 

Kayleigh McEnany, press secretary – NEGATIVE  

KellyAnne Conway, Trump’s former advisor  who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE 

Amy Coney Barrett, Supreme Court nominee – NEGATIVE (She had the virus in the summer)

Rev John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE 

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE  

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE 

Mike Lee, Utah Republican senator who attended Saturday’s announcement of SCOTUS nominee – POSITIVE  

Bill Stepien, campaign manager – POSITIVE    

Trump, 74, announced his diagnosis via Twitter just before 1am on Friday, hours after Hicks was revealed to have tested positive after traveling with the president to Cleveland on Marine One and Air Force One.    

Hours later the president was transported to Walter Reed hospital as reports claimed that he was having ‘trouble breathing’. The White House has not confirmed those rumors, saying that he was being admitted for tests ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after he developed a fever, congestion and a cough. 

Trump took to Twitter on Friday night, sharing an upbeat message from his hospital bed. 

‘Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!’ he wrote after a CNN report quoted an unnamed presidential adviser claiming that there is ‘reason for concern’ about his condition and that the president was having ‘trouble breathing’ following his positive coronavirus test.     

The president’s physician said that he is ‘doing well’ and is undergoing a range of treatments including a polyclonal antibody cocktail made by Regeneron that is not available to the public, remdesivir – an ebola drug that has already been shown to work against the virus – and vitamin D.

He is also taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine (the generic name for Pepcid AC), melatonin and daily aspirin.   

Before traveling to hospital, Trump had released an 18-second video message to the nation, saying he was being hospitalized but ‘I think I’m doing very well.’

‘We’re going to make sure that things work out,’ he said, adding that the first lady was also ‘doing very well’.

The president gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening. He waved to reporters on the South Lawn but didn’t speak. 

Trump’s ‘nuclear football’, the briefcase which could trigger doomsday, was loaded onto Marine One with him.  

While Trump and his aides maintain that he is doing well, rumors have swirled that his condition is much more serious than they are letting on.  

The president is at greater risk of developing a severe case of coronavirus because of his age.  

‘This is serious,’ an anonymous Trump adviser told CNN, stating that the president was ‘very tired, very fatigued’ and that his condition was much more severe than Melania’s.  

The source added that his condition is not deteriorating and the public should not be alarmed.   

Trump 74, gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening. He waved to reporters on the South Lawn but didn't speak

Trump 74, gave a ‘thumbs up’ as he walked from the White House to Marine One to be airlifted to hospital on Friday evening. He waved to reporters on the South Lawn but didn’t speak

The president tweeted Friday night that he believed his treatment was 'going well'

The president tweeted Friday night that he believed his treatment was ‘going well’



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