Carl Paladino

Carl Paladino, the Western New York real estate developer and conservative political activist, speaks at a rally in Olean in June 2015.

BUFFALO (TNS) — Western New York businessman Carl Paladino is recovering from COVID-19 after being hospitalized this month, according to a new report.

Paladino, the 74-year-old Buffalo developer who ran for New York state governor in 2010, tells The Buffalo News that he was in the hospital for two days in early September. Tests found he had the coronavirus and a mild case of pneumonia.

“It was horrible,” Paladino told the newspaper. “It’s a terrible disease, and you don’t know when it’s going to end.”

Paladino was among the attendees at a “Gridlock Buffalo” rally in April opposing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus shutdown. He was forced to close five hotels and lay off 451 workers.

The Buffalo News reports Paladino is currently in quarantine, but hopes to resume working as chairman of Ellicott Development Co. as soon as he can. Paladino did not know how he got the virus and said he probably transmitted it to his sister and brother-in-law.

He also told the publication that he still opposes Cuomo’s restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I think it was an overreaction,” Paladino said. “They’ve got America scared to death and our entire economy is shut down. Look at our city – look at these poor barbers, these bowling alleys, it’s just sinful what they did to our society.”

Paladino co-chaired President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in New York and was the Republican nominee for governor in 2010. He was ousted from the Buffalo School Board in 2017, months after he said he wished President Barack Obama would die of mad cow disease and former first lady Michelle Obama should be “let loose on the outback of Zimbabwe.”

The coronavirus has killed more than 201,000 people in the U.S. and infected nearly 7 million Americans as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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