Two Republican state senators in Alaska have tested positive for COVID-19 and one has been leveraging her platform on Facebook to tout a cocktail of vitamins and ivermectin as a miracle cure while railing against recommendations by public health officials.
“Its my turn to battle Covid head on... game on!” Republican state Sen. Lora Reinbold wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night. “When I defeat it, I will tell you my recipe.”
Sen. David Wilson also tested positive and was managing minor symptoms. A third lawmaker, Sen. Click Bishop, tested negative in a first test after feeling sick, Anchorage Daily News reported.
On Tuesday night, Reinbold complained on Facebook that she was “completely unimpressed” with instructions she’d supposedly been given to take Tylenol after testing positive, alleging it was a “bad recipe” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Health. (The CDC website says a patient’s supervising doctor might recommend ibuprofen to reduce fever, but the agency does not offer formal instructions on treatment).
She claimed she was taking matters into her own hands and was using a Vicks steamer while downing a slew of vitamins, zinc, aspirin and the parasitic drug ivermectin, which has not been proven to treat COVID.
“I am blessed to have gotten Ivirmectin [sic] the ‘de -covider,’” she added, promising those following along on social media that she would provide periodic updates and stay out of the hospital. “Some of them seem like scary places these days,” she wrote.
On Wednesday afternoon, she shared a TikTok video that appeared to show an airline pilot calling a requirement to get vaccinated an “ultimatum” and an affront to “freedom.”
Reinbold has been an ardent opponent of COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Alaska, which has been among the hardest-hit states amid the Delta variant surge in recent weeks.
She backed legislation to bar businesses and local governments from requiring vaccinations, a favored tactic among GOP lawmakers who have boosted their political profiles by defying public health measures intended to curb the spread of the virus.
Reinbold has also routinely balked at mask requirements.
Last month, she was excused from attending floor votes for the remainder of the year after she told legislative leaders she couldn’t fly back and forth to Anchorage because she got into a dispute with staffers on Alaska Airlines when she refused to wear a mask.
In April, Reinbold was banned indefinitely from flying on Alaska Airlines after repeatedly refusing to wear a mask as required by federal transportation authorities.
The positive tests in the legislature come after Anchorage Assembly leaders last week canceled a meeting because Mayor Dave Bronson’s office said two staffers had tested positive for COVID and members who had attended a Thursday meeting came into “really close contact” with them.
At that meeting, Reinbold challenged the proposal for a citywide mask ordinance.
Bronson, who is staunchly unvaccinated, recently apologized after saying that comparing vaccine mandates to the Holocaust’s yellow Star of David was “actually a credit” to Jewish people.
Masks are mandated in the state’s legislative buildings, including the Capitol, although they are not necessarily required in private offices.