Housing Secretary Ben Carson credited unapproved, experimental treatments with saving his life after he became “desperately ill” following his infection with the coronavirus.
A retired neurosurgeon, Carson said in a Facebook post that he believes he’s “out of the woods.” He disclosed that his wife, Candy, also had COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes.
Carson tested positive in early November after he attended an event at the White House on election night. The White House has been at the center of an outbreak that has sickened multiple staff members and over 130 Secret Service agents.
Most people recover from the disease, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans and sickened nearly 12 million, including President Donald Trump and members of his family, most recently, Donald Trump Jr.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Carson said he was “extremely sick” but saw “dramatic improvement” after taking Oleander 4X, a botanical treatment derived from the oleander plant. Carson said he has underlying conditions, which he did not specify, “and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill.”
Carson said Trump was aware of his condition and “cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life.”
“I do believe I am out of the woods at this point,” said Carson, who gave credit to Trump, the White House medical team and doctors at the Walter Reed military hospital.
Trump spent three days at Walter Reed after his infection in early October, where he received a variety of experimental treatments, including an antibody therapy from Regeneron. Trump later credited the experimental drug therapy with aiding his recovery.
In his statement, Carson acknowledged having access to a level of medical care that is unavailable to most Americans. He said a priority must be placed on getting comparable treatments and care to the general population as quickly as possible.