A teenage anti-mask councilman in Alabama who voted to end his city’s mask mandate was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday after developing pneumonia.

The unvaccinated 19-year-old is the youngest person ever elected to the Decatur City Council. Since being elected in August 2020, Hunter Pepper had been adamantly opposing mask requirements and had called vaccines a personal choice. He is now struggling to breathe from COVID complications. 

“I am still shallow in breathing but my oxygen remains okay for now,” Pepper said in a now-deleted Facebook post Thursday, (according to the Washington Post). “It feels terrible not to be able to breathe.”

Pepper tested positive for COVID on Wednesday morning and by night time he was hospitalized with difficulty breathing. His CT-Scan confirmed he had COVID Pneumonia which is “absolutely terrible,” he said in his social media post. 

“Everything in me wants to tell myself it is something different but every way I look it’s COVID this, Covid that’ and it has terrified me and my family,” Pepper said. “The media continues to report on COVID-19 and explains ‘Death’ each time they do. That is honestly terrifying to me but I have faith in the lord.”

Alabama is one of the states with the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Currently, 52% of its population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 41% are fully vaccinated. 

On Sept. 1, Alabama reported its highest number of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. Though the state’s cases have decreased since then, it is still experiencing an average number of cases not seen since January. 

Despite his experience with COVID, Pepper told The Post that he still believes masks should not be mandated but he does support people choosing to wear face coverings and getting vaccinated.

“I will do as I can to encourage folks to wear a mask as well as get vaccinated because I can say it is terrible,” he said in an emailed statement. “This virus is NOT Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent. It is its very own thing that is destroying our country but people still bring [politics] into it when they should not.”

On Friday morning, Pepper told The Post he was discharged from the hospital but was being treated for extreme shortness of breath since he was still “extremely sick.”

“I wouldn’t wish this virus upon anyone, even my worst enemy," he said.