Rep. Louie Gohmert has tested positive for the coronavirus a day after he took part in a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr, according to multiple sources.
Gohmert has often appeared on the House floor without a protective mask covering his face.
The 66-year-old defended his decision to CNN in June, saying that he was being tested regularly.
“I don’t have the coronavirus; turns out as of yesterday I’ve never had it,” he said.
“But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
At least seven other members of Congress — including GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah — have tested positive for the virus, according to Politico.
Gohmert was present in person for Tuesday’s hearing with Barr.
At one point in the hearing, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, criticized several Republicans for not wearing masks.
“I would remind Mr. [Jim] Jordan, Mr. [Andy] Biggs and Mr. [Mike] Johnson to stop violating the rules of the committee,” Nadler said, “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.”
ACTUALLY… here is a video of AG Barr and Gohmert.
While Barr arrived with a mask, it was off when he walked into the hearing room, so both men were not wearing masks at this time. pic.twitter.com/xm6wuq6QvW
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) July 29, 2020
Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Barr will be tested Wednesday, according to The Hill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the Trump administration’s offer in May for rapid results testing for members of Congress.
“Congress is grateful for the Administration’s generous offer to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities to Capitol Hill, but we respectfully decline the offer at this time,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement.
“Our country’s testing capacities are continuing to scale up nationwide and Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly.”
Congress instead would rely on testing protocols from the Office of the Attending Physician “until these speedier technologies become more widely available,” they said.
As of Wednesday morning, over 4.3 million Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Gohmert’s chief of staff, Connie Hair, declined Politico’s request for comment on his health.
The congressman has been a thorn in the side of the House Democratic leadership.
Last week, Gohmert introduced a resolution to ban the Democratic Party or any other political party that supported slavery.
He also has taken a strong stand in questioning those involved in the Russian “collusion” allegations against President Donald Trump.
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