Texas candidate Allen West speaks against vaccine mandates after hospitalization with COVID-19

GOP gubernatorial hopeful stressed the need for alternative treatments besides 'forcing' inoculation

Texas gubernatorial candidate Allen West stressed the need for alternative treatments to COVID-19 besides "forcing" inoculation, sending a video message after the unvaccinated hopeful for the Republican nomination was released from the hospital Monday after contracting the virus. 

In a video standing in what appeared to be his living room, Col. West said he was released from Medical City Hospital in Plano, Texas at about 5 p.m. CT Monday and was back at home. He attributed his release after a three-day hospital stint to the success of Regeneron monoclonal antibody infusion therapy and Budesonide nebulizer treatments, thanking his doctors and nurses for recommending those protocols. 

ALLEN WEST, TEXAS GOP HOPEFUL GUBERNATORIAL HOPEFUL, HAS COVID-19 

"There are so many other protocols out there that we should be recommending to people. This should not be about forcing people to take a certain shot," West said, wearing blue jeans and an American flag Wrangler T-shirt. "We should be offering and making sure people are aware of all these protocols that are out there and that’s one of the things that I’m going to be committed to doing. I want to make sure the Texas Medical Board, Texas Nurse Board, Texas Pharmacy Board never interfere in getting in the way of what’s best for you and your relationship with your doctor and your body." 

He said the monoclonal antibody infusion therapy "really helped us cleanse out and now we have double to antibodies in our cells," while Budesonide nebulizer treatments "made a huge difference in my lungs." 

West previously said he’d be admitted to the hospital Saturday after chest X-rays showed a "not serious" case of COVID-related phenomena. 

West tweeted at the time that his oxygen saturation levels were at 89, when they should be at 95. His campaign suspended in-person events Saturday, a day after West’s wife, Angela, tested positive for COVID-19. According to his Twitter account, West wasn't vaccinated for COVID-19, while his wife had.

"I want to thank you all for all of your thoughts, your prayers, your well wishes for Angela and myself. We’re doing very well back here at the house," West continued in his video Monday. "It’s great to be back home. And I just want to let you know, do not fear COVID. Just remember as it says in Joshua 1:9, ‘Be strong and of courage, for the Lord their God should never leave you nor forsake you.' Put everything in His hands and He will carry you through it. God be with you and thank you." 

West said he needed more time to rest and recuperate and would need a negative COVID test before resuming in-person events. In the meantime, he said his campaign would be operating virtually. His on-camera message was meant to counteract what West described as government-run "propaganda commercials of people who lost loved ones to COVID saying they wish they had taken the shot." 

"This level of manipulative deception must end," he tweeted Monday. 

Before realizing his exposure to the virus, Allen West on Thursday said he had attended a "packed house" Mission Generation Annual Gala & Fundraiser in Seabrook, Texas. West is a former Texas Republican Party chair and Florida congressman. 

He announced in July that he would challenge Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is running for a third term and has been endorsed by former President Trump. The announcement came a month after he resigned as chair of the Republican Party of Texas. 

West won a U.S. House seat in Florida in 2010 and quickly became a tea party favorite and lightning rod, at one point accusing Democrats of having as many as 80 communists in their House caucus. He failed to win reelection in 2012. He later moved to Texas and largely stayed out of the spotlight until running for chairman of the state GOP party last year.

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West then began criticizing Republicans as much as Democrats, calling the GOP 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.