"You can be vigilant for a long time, but you let your guard down even for a little while, and this virus can find you," former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News on Friday.
Christie, who was hospitalized in early October after contracting COVID-19, is encouraging all Americans to wear a mask in a new national ad campaign.
"For seven months I wore a mask pretty religiously and then for four days I let my guard down at the White House, and I got sick," Christie told "The Daily Briefing."
After experiencing severe symptoms which landed him in the ICU, Christie has come out with a PSA urging "all those people who refuse to wear a mask," to stop allowing the issue to divide Americans.
"If you don't do the right thing, we could all end up on the wrong side of history. Please wear a mask," he says in the ad.
The PSA was paid for by the COVID Collaborative, a group that has brought together leading experts and institutions in the health, education, and business sectors to develop best practices to support state and local leaders in their efforts to end the pandemic.
"I think, unfortunately, this issue has been politicized," Christie said, "but I have hope that Americans will eventually get tired of all the fighting and start to come together."
While strongly encouraging mask-wearing, Christie said he does not support a mask mandate. "It should be a recommendation. The government really does not have any way to enforce a mandate. What are they going to do, have the police show up and arrest people who aren’t wearing masks?"
The former governor does say, however, that businesses should be able to require people to wear masks. When asked about the recent incident in which a family was escorted off a United Airlines flight after their two-year-old refused to wear a mask, Christie said the airline was well within its rights to remove the passengers.
The ad promoting mask-wearing will run across media platforms through the end of December.