HUD Secretary Carson Back to Work After COVID-19 Illness

Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Dr. Ben Carson is said to be recovering after contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, describing himself as having become “desperately ill” with the disease before coming “out of the woods” according to a Facebook post made by the secretary on behalf of him and his wife.

Carson is now back at work, RMD can confirm, according to an all-staff email the secretary sent to HUD on Monday morning obtained by RMD.

“I would like all of you to know I have tested negative for COVID-19 and I am back in the office,” Carson said in the email. “I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers as I fought this virus.”

Carson contracted COVID-19 early this month, and was admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on November 9 to undergo testing and treatment, according to a report at Politico. While there, he showed initial improvement before his condition worsened, which caused him to be approved for an experimental treatment which was also given to President Trump when he contracted the virus in October, Carson said.

“I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill,” Carson wrote in the Facebook post this past Friday. “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.”

While recognizing that he has a uniquely high level of access to these kinds of treatments given his position in the federal government, Carson chose to express hopefulness that his response to such a treatment would be a sign for further progress on treatments for more Americans afflicted by the virus.

“While I am blessed to have the best medical care in the world (and I am convinced it saved my life), we must prioritize getting comparable treatments and care to everyone as soon as possible,” Carson wrote in his post. “There are a number of promising treatments that need to be tested, approved, and distributed […] so that the economy can be reopened and we can all return to a semblance of normalcy.”

Recently at the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) Virtual Annual Meeting & Expo, Deputy HUD Secretary Brian Montgomery gave an update on Secretary Carson’s condition to reverse mortgage professionals in virtual attendance at the event.

“We’ve spoken with Secretary Carson, as many of you know, he acknowledged yesterday that he has the coronavirus,” Montgomery said on November 12. “I’m pleased to report that he’s doing much better, and appreciates all the kind comments and notices. I know many of you sent me those notices that I shared with him, and he was very happy to hear from everyone. So, thank you on that front.”

A retired neurosurgeon, Carson was appointed as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in March, shortly before the president declared a national emergency related to the pandemic.

The federal response to the pandemic saw its first effects on housing when the president announced a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions shortly thereafter, with HECM-specific relief coming in the forms of appraisal rule changes and electronic submission of case binders.

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