MORRISTOWN — A week after checking himself into the hospital with COVID-19, former Gov. Chris Christie said he was released Saturday morning from Morristown Medical Center.

"I want to thank the extraordinary doctors & nurses who cared for me for the last week," Christie said on his Twitter account. "Thanks to my family & friends for their prayers. I will have more to say about all of this next week."

Gov. Phil Murphy replied that he and the first lady "are so glad to hear this news" and wished Christie "a continued recovery."

Christie hadn't said anything at all during the week that he was hospitalized. Last Saturday he became one of a growing list that's topped two dozen officials, advisors, journalists and others connected to the White House and presidential events, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump included, who revealed coronavirus test results in the past two weeks.

Christie has said that he was part of the team that helped Donald Trump prepare for the presidential debate last week — and that nobody wore masks in the White House, which has been relying on rapid testing as part of its safety protocol. Christie also attended a Rose Garden event on Sept. 25 where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his next pick for the Supreme Court. That outdoor event also packed people shoulder to shoulder without masks and has been labeled a "superspreader" event by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, who cautioned the White House to avoid large-scale gatherings without masks.

Hospital officials have not said what kind of treatment for COVID-19 that Christie received.

Trump checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last Friday and was released on Monday after receiving several days of antiviral drug remdesivir and an experimental monoclonal antibody cocktail. Before he was hospitalized, Trump was receiving oxygen at the White House, which the president's medical team did not initially disclose.

Since Trump's release, he has minimized the threat of the virus, comparing it to the flu. Last season, the flu killed 34,200 people whereas in the last seven months the coronavirus has already killed 214,000 Americans, the most of any country.

Claiming he is no longer contagious, Trump planned to leave the White House on Saturday to address supporters.

CDC guidelines are for people to isolate for 10 days after onset of symptoms.

That onset for Trump was Oct. 1, according to his doctors. The president's White House doctor, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, said that means Trump, who has been surrounded by minimal staffing as he works out of the White House residence and the Oval Office, could return to holding events on Saturday.

Conley added that Trump was showing no evidence of his illness progressing or adverse reactions to the aggressive course of therapy he has received.

While reports of reinfection in COVID-19 victims are rare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that even people who recover from the disease continue to wear masks, stay distanced and follow other precautions. It was unclear if Trump, who has refused mask wearing in most settings, would abide by that guidance.

Meanwhile, next Thursday's town hall-style Trump-Biden debate was officially canceled, a few days after Trump backed away when the sponsoring commission switched it from face-to-face to virtual following Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.

Trump said the Commission on Presidential Debates was protecting Biden from having to take on the president in person. But Biden's team said the one demanding protection was Trump.

“It’s shameful that Donald Trump ducked the only debate in which the voters get to ask the questions — but it’s no surprise,” said Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Everyone knows that Donald Trump likes to bully reporters, but obviously he doesn’t have the guts to answer for his record to voters at the same time as Vice President Biden.”

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

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