U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas says he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Gohmert, a Republican, had been seen recently without a mask on Capitol Hill, including at least part of the time while he attended the House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday to hear testimony from Attorney General William Barr.
In a video, Gohmert said he was screened Wednesday at the White House before he was due to depart with President Donald Trump on a flight to Gohmert’s home state and tested positive. Gohmert, who said he is asymptomatic, did not travel with the president.
Gohmert said in an interview with CNN last month he sometimes did not wear a mask because he was being tested regularly.
But in the video, he said, “I’ve worn a mask more in the last week or two than I have in the whole last four months.
“Now that I apparently have it, I will be very, very careful to make sure I don’t give it to anybody else,” he said.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, criticized the 66-year-old lawmaker and other Republicans for not wearing masks. Nadler, however, also posted a message on Facebook, wishing Gohmert a full and speedy recovery. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quoted as telling MSNBC, “I’m so sorry for him,” when learning that Gohmert had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Responding to news of Gohmert’s positive coronavirus test, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer criticized him and many other Republicans for acting irresponsibly and 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 (Tuesday); 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.