Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West says he has Covid-19
Eric Gay/AP

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West says he has Covid-19

Allen West, Republican candidate for governor of Texas, is being treated at Medical City Plano, he said Sunday on Twitter, a day after announcing he has pneumonia due to Covid-19.

The former Florida congressman said that he and his wife Angela “underwent monoclonal antibody infusion therapy” Saturday at a Dallas emergency room. While Angela was released, West was sent to Medical City Plano due to what he described as concerns over pneumonia related to Covid. He also said he is awaiting results of a chest X-ray from earlier Sunday morning.

West said he is now “even more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates.” A post on his Facebook page Saturday had said Angela was vaccinated against the coronavirus, but he was not.

The issue of vaccine mandates has emerged as a political battleground. Vaccines have been proven to work extremely well to protect people against Covid-19 and reduce the risk of severe disease and death. Most people now being hospitalized and treated for coronavirus infections are unvaccinated.

“Col. West is experiencing a low-grade fever and light body aches,” according to his Saturday Facebook post. “Out of concern for public health, Col. West is suspending in-person events until receiving an all-clear indication.”

The Facebook post said he was taking hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin — two drugs that do not have a proven track record of success in treating Covid-19 and public health officials have recommended against using for Covid-19. Ivermectin, for example, is an anti-parasitic drug that can harm people who take it to treat coronavirus.

West stepped down as chair of the Texas Republican Party over the summer, while hinting at his run for statewide office. The retired Army lieutenant colonel was first elected Texas GOP chair last year as a strong supporter of then-President Donald Trump and critic of Texas’ coronavirus restrictions.

He protested last fall with other prominent conservatives against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s Covid-19 restrictions and mask mandate, and sued the governor for extending early voting amid the pandemic.

Abbott, who is fully vaccinated against the virus, tested positive for Covid-19 in August. Back in March, he lifted the state’s mask mandate and allowed businesses to open at 100% capacity despite warnings from public health officials. He has since opposed mask mandates and issued a controversial executive order banning school districts from requiring masks.

West announced his bid for governor on July 4, setting up a primary challenge against Abbott, who is seeking a third term and was endorsed by Trump.

“Cecilia and I are sending well wishes to Allen and Angela. You are in our prayers. Get well soon,” Abbott tweeted Saturday.

This story has been updated Sunday with additional developments.

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