Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican that has frequently refused to wear a mask while at the Capitol during the pandemic, has tested positive for coronavirus.
Gohmert has spent ample time on the House floor during votes speaking to aides and lawmakers — without a mask or social distancing.
Gohmert had been scheduled to fly aboard Air Force One with Trump to Midland, Texas, where he is fundraising and touring an oil rig. He tested positive for coronavirus this morning during a pre-flight screening at the White House.
Needless to say, Gohmert is NOT traveling on Air Force One today or anytime soon.
Gohmert’s office notified Republican leaders, who notified House medical staff and the protocol kicked in for further notification.
Gohmert told CNN last month that he didn’t wear a mask because he had been tested and he didn’t yet have the virus.
“But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
During Tuesday’s hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler urged a handful of Republican members to keep their masks on.
“I would remind Mr. Jordan, Mr. Biggs and Mr. Johnson to stop violating the rules of the committee, to stop violating the safety of the members of the committee, to stop holding themselves out as not caring by refusing to wear their masks.”
Gohmert was also present at the hearing. He was seen maskless outside the room near Barr at one point. The Justice Department told CNN Wednesday that Barr will get tested.
In another hearing Wednesday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren interjected to remind members who are physically present that they are required to wear a mask.
Lofgren said of Gohmert,
“He was a member who was unwilling to consistently wear a mask.
It’s a reminder that this is very serious and if you’re unwilling to wear a mask that covers your nose and your mouth, please do leave the room and we’ll arrange for you to participate remotely.”
Rep. Gohmert, who was without a mask, stood outside the men’s bathroom where Barr went before he walked into the “hearing” room.— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) July 29, 2020
Once out, Gohmert approached the AG and exchanged a comment or two.
Would say from memory, they were within arms length. https://t.co/eAhHXT07Kz
UPDATE: Gohmert now tells news station KETK that he thinks he may have contracted the virus by wearing a mask,
“It’s really ironic because a lot of people have made a big deal out of my not wearing a mask a whole lot but in the last week or two I have worn a mask more than I have the whole last four months.
I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, if I might have put some germs… some of the virus on the mask and breathed it in… But the reports of my demise are very premature.“