U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert has tested positive for the coronavirus, U.S. media reports said, after being seen recently without a mask on Capitol Hill.
Politico was the first to report that the Texas lawmaker tested positive after being screened Wednesday at the White House before he was due to depart with President Donald Trump on a flight to Gohmert’s home state. He did not travel with the president.
Gohmert said in an interview with CNN last month he did not wear a mask because he was being tested regularly for the coronavirus.
“I don’t have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I’ve never had it,” Gohmert said. “But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
The 66-year-old Republican lawmaker attended Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr, during which chairman Jerry Nadler scolded several other Republicans for not wearing masks.
Responding to news of the positive coronavirus test, House Majority leader Steny Hoyer criticized Gohmert and many other Republicans for not consistently wearing a mask.
“Too many Republicans have continued to act extraordinarily irresponsibly, including Louis Gohmert. Louie Gohmert ought to quarantine himself right now. He had this test, as I understand it prior to the Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, he was in the committee room. He put on his mask when he sat down in his chair. He came into the room without a mask on,” Hoyer told reporters. “(Republican Congressman Jim) Jordan did the same totally irresponsible behavior.”