Dr. Ben Carson recounts his battle with COVID-19: ‘Fevers and chills, couldn’t even keep water down’

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson joined “The Story” Wednesday night for his first interview since recovering from COVID-19.

Carson, who announced last month that he had tested positive for the virus, told host Martha MacCallum he has “great respect” for what he called “this disease process.”

“I think we need to emphasize that there are certain people in our society who are vulnerable,” he said. “People with comorbidities, elderly people, and especially elderly people with comorbidities. 

“In my case, I’m 69 years old,” Carson added. “I know a lot of people think I don’t look that old, but I am, and I have a number of co-mobidities.

Initially, Carson said, he dealt with high fever, chills and “some aches.”

“It wasn’t so bad. I took some oleander extract,” he added, referring to the supplement he previously touted that is sourced from an otherwise poisonous plant native to Bermuda and similar climates. 

“And then the bottom fell out. Because of the comorbidities, I couldn’t mount an appropriate antibody response and I deteriorated very rapidly,” he recalled. “Fevers, chills, couldn’t even keep water down, aches coughing respiratory problems.”


After dealing with elevated symptoms for some time, Carson said, “I was able to get a special dispensation, at that time the monoclonal antibody hadn’t been FDA approved. The president signed some papers and I was able to get that infusion and I started feeling better almost immediately.”

Carson told MacCallum that his story should be taken as a reminder that there are other treatments for COVID-19 that can be used before a vaccine becomes widely available.


“I think the thing we need to emphasize the most is that people need to understand who are the vulnerable people. And we really have to protect them,” he said. “I’m not sure we need to hibernate and be terribly afraid, but we do need to educate ourselves.”

“It’s not just elderly people, it can be young people who have obesity or diabetes, or who have some respiratory issues. So we need to educate ourselves, work with your health care professional, find out who the vulnerable people are in your family and make sure we protect them.”

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