Allen West, unvaccinated Republican running for governor in Texas, has Covid
Allen West, a Tea Party firebrand now a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor of Texas, said on Saturday he had received monoclonal antibody injections after being diagnosed with Covid-19 pneumonia.
He also said his wife, Angela West, also tested positive and had received antibodies.
According to his Twitter account, Allen West has not been vaccinated against the virus. His wife has.
West “has publicly stated he supports individual choice and this is reflected in his own family”, a tweet said.
Antibodies are used to treat those in the early stages of a coronavirus infection.
West also said he was “already taking hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin”. The former drug is an anti-malarial, the latter an anti-parasitic used in humans and animals. Both are popular among anti-vaccination campaigners but have no proven use against Covid-19. Experts warn against possible side effects from their use.
“My chest X-rays do show Covid pneumonia,” West wrote, “not serious. I am probably going to be admitted to the hospital. There’s a concern about my oxygen saturation levels, which are at 89 and they should be at 95.”
On Thursday, West said he attended a “packed house” Mission Generation Annual Gala & Fundraiser in Seabrook, Texas. On Saturday he tweeted that he was “suspending in-person events until receiving an all-clear indication”.
A former Florida congressman, West announced in July that he would challenge Republican governor Greg Abbot, who is running for a third term and has been endorsed by Donald Trump – and has also experienced a bout with Covid.
West’s announcement came a month after he resigned as chair of the Republican party of Texas.
West won a US House seat in Florida in 2010 and became a Tea Party favorite and political lightning rod, at one point accusing Democrats of having as many as 80 communists in their House caucus. He failed to win re-election in 2012.
He later moved to Texas and largely stayed out of the spotlight until running for chairman of the state GOP last year.
West began criticizing Republicans as much as Democrats, calling the Republican speaker of the Texas House a “traitor” for working across the aisle, then leading a protest outside Abbott’s mansion over coronavirus restrictions.
In October 2020, West took part in a protest outside Abbot’s home, criticizing the Republican governor’s executive orders – including a statewide mask mandate and lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those restrictions are no longer in place.