Chris Christie urges Americans to take COVID-19 seriously after spending 7 days in the ICU and getting access to experimental drugs unavailable to most people

chris christie
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • Former New Jersey governor is warning Americans to take COVID-19 seriously. 
  • Christie announced that he tested positive for the virus earlier this month and said he spent seven days in the ICU.
  • He also took remdesivir and an anti-body cocktail from Eli Lilly, experimental therapies that are not yet entirely approved or available to the general American public. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Chris Christie revealed that he spent seven days in the intensive care unit and received experimental therapies after being diagnosed with COVID-19 — and he now encourages all Americans to take COVID-19 seriously.

In a statement, Christie also said that he took remdesivir and an anti-body cocktail from Eli Lilly that is still in experimental trials. (This week, the National Institutes of Health trial was paused due to safety concerns.)

Christie was among a number of people close to President Donald Trump who tested positive for the virus earlier this month. The former New Jersey governor was also one of a dozen people to test positive who attended a September 26 Rose Garden event to announce Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

He told The New York Times on Thursday that he was "wrong" for not wearing a mask at the White House and with the president.

"I believed that when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that and I and many others underwent every day. I was wrong. I was wrong to not wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the President and the rest of the team," Christie said in his statement.

He thanked his doctors and "the manufacturers of Remdesivir and the Eli Lilly monoclonal anti-body cocktail for giving me access to their extraordinary treatments."

Remdesivir is anti-viral that studied found was able to help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 recover faster. The Food and Drug Administration has given an emergency authorization for the drug's use in hospitalized patients.

Antibody cocktails are not yet approved by the FDA. Trump was also treated with remdesivir and another antibody cocktail from Regeneron. 

Christie and Trump were able to access experimental therapies that are not accessible to the majority of Americans. More than 8 million Americans have already become infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and over 218,000 have died. 

While there are factors that can help determine someone's susceptibility to becoming seriously ill, there's no way to know exactly how this virus is going to impact every individual and there is not enough evidence to prove that these therapies are entirely effective.

A study of more than 2,750 COVID-19 patients from the World Health Organization found that remdesivir had "little or no effect" on survival.

"These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized COVID-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay," the report which has not been peer-reviewed found. 

Christie also acknowledged that the virus could have various impacts on different people and that everyone needed to take it seriously.

"No one should be happy to get the virus and no one should be cavalier about being infected or infecting others," Christie said. "It is something to take very seriously. The ramifications are wildly random and potentially deadly."

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