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Texas Republican candidate for governor Allen West, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, tweeted on Saturday that he could be admitted to hospital after a chest x-ray showed he was suffering from ‘pneumonia caused by the virus.
“There is concern about my oxygen saturation levels, which are at 89 and they should be at 95,” West tweeted, adding in a follow-up tweet, “My chest x-rays show COVID pneumonia, not serious. I will probably be admitted to the hospital.
Earlier today, West’s campaign tweeted that his wife, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, tested positive for the virus on Friday. In that tweet thread, the campaign said he “had a low fever and mild body aches” and was canceling the events in person until it was clear. Along the same thread, the campaign also said that West was taking hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
The United States Food and Drug Administration has said both drugs can cause serious health problems for people who take them in an attempt to treat COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that the FDA says has “no benefit in reducing the likelihood of death or speeding up recovery.” Ivermectin is a medicine used to treat parasites in humans and animals; the FDA said that “the data currently available does not show that ivermectin is effective against COVID-19”.
West’s campaign said in the tweets that he believes getting the COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal choice.
On October 7, West tweeted a photo of an event he attended for Mission Generation, an evangelical organization, in Seabrook, outside Houston, describing it as “a packed house.” The two photos shared by West showed participants without masks.
West represented Florida in Congress from 2011 to 2013 before moving to Texas in 2014 to become CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas think tank that closed its doors three years later.
Last year, West was elected state party president, a post he resigned in June to challenge Governor Greg Abbott in the Republican primary next year.