Right-winger Allen West said Saturday that after not getting vaccinated and using unproven drugs to prevent COVID, he has contracted the virus and will likely be hospitalized with pneumonia and low oxygen.
The details came in a Twitter thread several hours after West announced he had COVID symptoms and was suspending in-person events for his Texas gubernatorial campaign.
The Trump-loving ex-congressman said he and his wife, Angela, who is vaccinated but also got infected, were treated with monoclonal antibodies, which can help stave off severe disease if used early enough.
“There’s a concern about my oxygen saturation levels, which are at 89 and they should be at 95,” West wrote.
“My chest X-rays do show COVID pneumonia, not serious. I am probably going to be admitted to the hospital.”
Earlier in the day, West had tweeted that after his wife tested positive on Friday he developed “a low grade fever and light body aches” and added that he was “already taking Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin protocols”—two ineffective drugs popular with the anti-vaxxer crowd.
Hydroxychloroquine is the anti-malarial medication that was championed by Trump until studies found little to no benefit and federal regulators said it could actually be dangerous.
Ivermectin is a drug used to treat parasites in humans and animals—it’s animal variety is popularly known as horse paste—that has had vaccine skeptics raiding livestock supply outlets, even though health authorities say it should not be used to prevent COVID because it simply doesn’t work.
There is no approved “protocol” for either drug.
After the initial tweet, the Twitter account posted a clarification to make clear that while his wife had gotten the vaccine, he had refused it. “West has publicly stated he supports individual choice and this is reflected in his own family.”
The revelation that he was feeling poorly after exposure to an infected person came a day-and-a-half after he spoke at the gala for Mission Generation, an evangelical organization. A tweet about his appearance noted the event was “packed”—and a photo showed West and the crowd were unmasked.
Mission Generation did not respond to an email with questions about COVID precautions at the gala and whether any contact-tracing or notification of possible exposure was underway.
West protested outside Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mansion against COVID restrictions last year and then announced this summer that he was running for his seat.
He abruptly quit as chairman of the Texas GOP in June after just a year—a tenure marked by his adoption of a slogan that mirrors QAnon language (though he claimed there was no connection).
West is well-known for outrageous statements—from a Facebook post about “exterminating” Muslims to his suggestion that Texas secede over the election of Joe Biden.