too soon?

Chris Christie cracks COVID-19 jokes in latest attempt to position himself for 2024 presidential run

Chris Christie has been very busy the past few weeks promoting his new book Republican Rescue and not-so-subtly positioning himself for a potential 2024 run for president.

As part of his effort to drum up early support, Politico Playbook reports the former New Jersey Governor gave a speech at a closed-door gathering of The Gridiron Club in Washington, D.C. on December 4, where he joked about how Donald Trump gave him COVID-19 last year, which resulted in him checking into the ICU for a week and meeting with a priest to prepare for his last rites.

“I joke about Donald, but I’m still really proud to have provided some help to his administration,” Christie reportedly told the group. “I mean, I gave Donald Trump my undying loyalty, and, as we learned this week, he definitely gave me COVID.”

Related: Chris Christie slams people who attack his weight, forgets he supported guy who attacks people’s weight

Christie was diagnosed with COVID-19 after the Amy Coney Barrett “super-spreader” event in September 2020. He was treated with remdesivir and an experimental anti-body cocktail that very few others had access to. In Republican Rescue, he writes about how Trump called him when he was still fighting for his life in the hospital and asked, “Are you going to say you got it from me?”

Speaking to People last month, Christie talked about his “very serious” infection and how, given his weight and other underlying health issues, including asthma, he wasn’t sure he would survive.

“It reinforced to me how central the events in life are that you want to be alive for,” he said. “None of my children have been married yet and gosh, I’d love to be there to walk my daughters down the aisle … I was so sad about the idea I might not be able to do that, or to see a grandchild.”

Related: Antigay pastor demands to speak to the manager about why more Democrats haven’t died of COVID-19

But evidently that’s all fine now and Christie’s OK with joking about it, even as thousands of Americans continue to die of COVID-19 every day and public health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated and boosted so we can end the pandemic and save lives.

During the speech at The Gridiron Club, Christie also joked about how he’s not too concerned about how Trump might respond to his book because, “I was a little worried that Donald would be upset when he read it. But then I remembered: It’s a book; no chance.”

In recent weeks, Christie has publicly called on the ex-president to give quit peddling 2020 election lies for the sake of the GOP and the country. Critics have accused him of being on a “media rehabilitation tour” as he prepares for a possible 2024 run for the White House.

Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.