Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, has admitted himself to hospital with coronavirus (Getty Images)

The former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has been called a “hypocrite” after he checked himself into hospital following a coronavirus diagnosis.

Along with US president Donald Trump, Mr Christie had spent months downplaying the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that Americans were “gonna have to” accept the world’s highest death toll.

Speaking on Saturday, the former governor said he was checking himself into a medical facility as a precautionary measure, just hours after he told his Twitter followers that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

“In consultation with my doctors, I checked myself into Morristown Medical Center this afternoon,” he wrote on Twitter.

“While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms,” said the Republican, “due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure”.

Those comments on Saturday provoked outrage amongst critics of president Trump’s closest aides and Mr Christie, who previously dismissed concerns about virus deaths as he argued for an end to lockdown measures.

Angered by Mr Christie’s earlier disregard for virus deaths, both Twitter uses and medical professionals such as Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist, wrote that  “Chris Christie is the biggest hypocrite.”

It comes after the former governor said in an appearance on CNN in May that “Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can—but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?”

“Are there ways that we can…thread the needle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what?”

Asked about forecasts predicting 134,000 American deaths – a figure that now stands at almost 210,000 – the former governor said people were “gonna have to” accept that reality as restrictions were eased.

In a Twitter post that has since been shared more than 18,000 times on the social media site, user Michael David Smith compared Mr Christie’s remarks between May and this month.

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“When other people got Covid-19, Chris Christie said some Americans are just gonna have to die. Now that he has COVID-19, he’s checking himself into the hospital as soon as he feels even mild symptoms,” argued Mr Smith.

He added of the Republican: “When he said we have to accept people dying he didn’t mean him. He meant us”.

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