Hip-hop artist Kanye West, who declared Saturday that he is running for president despite having missed six state deadlines to appear on the ballot, says he has survived a bout with COVID-19 and has issued conflicting views on whether he continues to support President Donald Trump.
"I am taking the red hat off, with this interview," West, 43, told Forbes magazine, referring to the red "Make America Great Again" caps worn by Trump's supporters throughout his campaign and presidency, in what the publication called "four rambling hours of interviews on Tuesday."
He noted that the current commander-in-chief's administration “looks like one big mess to me. I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker,” referring to Trump’s retreat to the White House bunker in late May amid protest over the police killing of George Floyd.
But West later said, "Trump is the closest president we've had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation," and called the president "special."
Forbes' request for comment from the White House was not immediately returned on Tuesday.
West also said he had contracted the coronavirus in February. "Chills, shaking in the bed, taking hot showers, looking at videos telling me what I'm supposed to do to get over it," he said.
However, the Grammy Award-winning musician and entrepreneur does not support a COVID-19 vaccine. "It's so many of our children that are being vaccinated and paralyzed," he said, repeating disproved claims about vaccine risks.
Referring to the Biblical book of Revelation, he said he was "extremely cautious" about a vaccine because, "That's the mark of the beast. They want to put chips inside of us, they want to do all kinds of things, to make it where we can't cross the gates of Heaven."
On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department said West's fashion label Yeezy, which had revenue of nearly $1.3 billion in 2019, was one of several large companies that had received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The company, owned wholly by West, was given between $2 million and $5 million.