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Anti-Mask State Senator Banned From Alaska Airlines Now Has COVID-19, Shares Her “Recipe” of Unproven Treatments

People are seen at a protest against masks, vaccines, with a Facebook message from Reinbold superimposed reading "It's my turn to battle Covid head on."

An Alaska State Senator who made headlines earlier this year after being banned from Alaska Airlines for repeatedly refusing to wear a mask and being hostile to staff has now announced that she has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Its my turn to battle Covid head on… game on!” Lora Reinbold wrote on Facebook. She didn’t mention any symptoms but did promise, “When I defeat it, I will tell you my recipe.”

For now, her “recipe” includes a mix of vitamins, some recommendations from her naturopath, aspirin, a Vicks steamer, and—of course—horse de-wormer.

OK, to be fair, there’s a good chance Reinbold got the human version of ivermectin, which she calls the “de-covider” and says she’s “blessed” to have received. In reality, the anti-parasitic drug has not been found to have any benefit in fighting COVID-19. (An early study that looked potentially promising has been mostly debunked.) And by using it to self-medicate, she could be putting herself and others at enormous risk.

People like Reinbold have been using the drug to treat a virus that it is not designed to treat, self-regulating dosages, and sometimes obtaining the medication from suspect sources. According to a report from BuzzFeed News, “So many people got sick from the drug that calls to poison control centers regarding ivermectin increased fivefold in July compared with prepandemic levels, according to the CDC, and New Mexico public health officials reported two possible deaths linked to the drug.”

“According to the CDC, at least one person has tried to prevent COVID by drinking a type of ivermectin meant to be injected into cattle. They ended up with confusion, hallucinations, shortness of breath, tremors, and drowsiness,” the report reads.

Elsewhere, “another person who already had COVID took ivermectin tablets they bought on the internet and had an ‘altered mental status’ and couldn’t really answer questions or follow commands. They improved after they were hospitalized and stopped taking ivermectin, according to the CDC.”

It’s not clear how or where Reinbold obtained ivermectin. She apparently saw a doctor but was “unimpressed” by their recommendation to take Tylenol until symptoms become debilitating. She called that “a bad recipe from cdc/dept of health.”

In reality, that seems less likely to be the CDC’s recommendation, but rather an effect of Alaska’s current medical crisis due to overwhelming numbers of critical COVID patients filling ICUs to capacity. Earlier this month, the state authorized emergency protocols and allowed facilities to ration medical care if needed.

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, people have been furious and terrified over a lack of access to medical resources. Since day one, we’ve heard of people being turned away from hospitals no matter the severity of their symptoms. For Reinbold to now politicize this as a decision made by the Department of Health is ridiculous and enraging.

For her part, Reinbold says she plans “to keep my promise to stay OUT of the hospital- some of them seem like scary places these days.” Which is good, I suppose. They clearly need the space.

(via HuffPost, image: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.