Rep. Louie Gohmert — a Texas Republican who has been walking around the Capitol without a mask — has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple sources.
Gohmert was scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump and tested positive in a pre-screen at the White House. The eighth-term Republican told CNN last month that he was not wearing a mask because he was being tested regularly for the coronavirus.
“[I]f I get it,” he told CNN in June, “you’ll never see me without a mask.”
Reps. Mario Diaz Balart (R-Fla.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.) have tested positive for the virus, along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Tenn.).
In May, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) turned down the administration’s offer of rapid testing for the Capitol. Some lawmakers — mostly Republicans — decline to use face coverings while in the building.
Gohmert attended Tuesday’s blockbuster House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr in person, where lawmakers were seated at some distance from one another.
At one point in the hearing, Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) chastised several Republicans for taking off their masks, though Gohmert was not among those he scolded.
“I would remind Mr. Jordan, Mr. Biggs and Mr. Johnson to stop violating the rules of the committee,” Nadler said, referring to Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, three GOP lawmakers. “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.”
“Is it permissible to drink a sip of coffee?” one of the members asked.
“It is not permissible,” replied Nadler.
Connie Hair, Gohmert’s chief of staff, declined comment.
Kyle Cheney contributed.