Former Gov. Chris Christie  — who has become vocal in his support of mask-wearing since ending a hospital-stay for his own COVID-19 illness — says he's surprised that Vice President Mike Pence continued to campaign Sunday after five aides coronavirus.

Among them is Pence's chief of staff. CDC guidelines advise anyone who has been in close contact with someone known to have the novel coronavirus to isolate for 14 days, even after a negative test.

The White House said that Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite his exposure. The vice president's office says that under CDC criteria, Pence is considered a “close contact” of his chief of staff, Marc Short, but does not have to quarantine because he is considered an essential worker.

"I think everybody’s gotta put the health of the people they’re going to be in touch with first," Christie told Martha Raddatz on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. The former New Jersey governor was live with Raddatz outdoors at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia where he, former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Raddatz sat far apart from each other.

"You got to keep yourself away from everybody and I’m a little bit surprised," Christie said.

Pence's office says that the vice president and his wife, Karen, tested negative on Sunday.

Christie called his own failure to wear a mask while in the company of White House officials and others a "serious failure" in a Wall Street Journal column. Christie didn't wear a mask while at the White House helping President Donald Trump prepare for the first presidential debate, or when he addended the Rose Garden announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the days following the Rose Garden ceremony, several White House staffers and President Donald Trump were diagnosed. Christie, who is considered a high-risk individual because of his weight and history of asthma, spent time in the ICU after being admitted to Morristown Medical Center.

During the "This Week" appearance Christie also said Trump is worried about losing his bid for re-election — although he'll never admit it publicly.

"When you hear him talking at some of these rallies about 'What if I were to lose Iowa?' 'What if I were to lose North Carolina?' 'Would I have to move out of the country?' You know, that's him musing about the possibility of him losing," Christie said.

The race is tightening up, according to Chrstie, a trend he expects to continue during the final week of the presidential campaign.

(Includes material copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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