Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson claims that he is “out of the woods” after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month and is crediting a combination of his privilege, access to quality medical care, and unproven, experimental treatments with saving his life.

As ESSENCE previously reported, Carson, Mark Meadows, the president’s chief of staff, and several other White House staffers tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an election night watch party hosted at the White House.

In a Facebook post Friday, the retired neurosurgeon, 69, said that he has several co-morbidities and became “desperately ill” after a brief period of only experiencing minor discomfort. Carson claims that he initially took Oleander 4X, the botanical extract oleandrin, which is derived from the oleander plant and toxic to humans when consumed raw.

Trump’s friend Mike Lindell, founder and CEO of My Pillow, Inc., has continuously pushed the unproven treatment. According to Business Insider, Lindell sits on the board of—and has a financial stake in—Phoenix Biotechnology, the company developing the product.

Carson also wrote that, “President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life.”

As ESSENCE previously reported, Trump received an infusion of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail—which is not FDA-approved, but given to the president because he qualified as a “compassionate use” case. Doctors also administered the president Remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone, zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.

According to Carson, “There are a number of promising treatments that need to be tested, approved, and distributed (sooner rather than later) so that the economy can be re-opened and we can all return to a semblance of normalcy.”

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