State Representative Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) spent the last week in the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus. First reported by the Texas Tribune, Tinderholt said the illness became so serious that he thought last Friday would be his last day on Earth.
But he is thankfully on the mend and now back home. Tinderholt’s is the first known case of coronavirus among the members of the Texas legislature.
In a statement, Tinderholt said he tested positive just over two weeks ago. From there, the case continued, “I went to the hospital and was sent home and told to come back if my oxygen count decreased beyond a certain number.”
But his symptoms got progressively worse and he took action. “Instead of waiting any longer, I sought further medical treatment at McKinney Family Medicine with Brian C. Procter, MD. Receiving excellent care, I started experiencing improvement almost immediately after treatment began,” he added.
Tinderholt received treatment from Dr. Brian C. Proctor of McKinney. Proctor recently discussed coronavirus and his strategies in dealing with it in a video conference with State Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood). After treatment began with Proctor, Tinderholt said he saw and felt improvement quickly.
His wife Bethany and their two children also tested positive. Bethany had minor symptoms and the children were asymptomatic. Tinderholt isn’t back to feeling 100 percent yet, but is isolating in his home and his condition continues to improve.
“I praise the Lord for keeping my family safe and for sending an excellent medical professional who was not afraid to practice the medicine he felt was in the best interest of his patients. Dr. Procter has seen over 300 COVID-19 patients and is saving lives on a regular basis,” the statement concluded.
Tinderholt has been outspoken against Governor Greg Abbott’s handling of the pandemic, specifically his business closure orders and mask mandate.
The Texan spoke with Tinderholt who, when asked if his experience changed his perspective on pandemic response, said, “No, it absolutely does not.”
“My hope remains what it was before, that regardless of government mandates the average person will do what my family did and try to protect themselves and others.”
He further added, “Shutting down eighth or ninth-largest economy in the world — Texas — was not a good idea at all. Taking people’s liberties and freedoms is never the right answer. And I firmly believe that the individual person is going to do a lot more to protect themselves and their family members than the government will.”
Despite his opposition to the top-down order, Tinderholt said that he and his family would wear masks whenever they left the house.
“Look at me, I was against what the governor did, and I still wore a mask everywhere we went.”
Tinderholt added that Proctor and other doctors “are doing some amazing things” in their treatment and that “they, having treated hundreds of patients, know better than what the media is telling people.”
He added that the immunosuppressive drug hydroxychloroquine was not part of Tinderholt’s treatment because of his heart condition.
He concluded by urging the public, “Don’t be afraid to go see a medical professional if you think you need to.”
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.