Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican who has been walking around the Capitol without a face mask or covering, has tested positive for the highly contagious novel coronavirus, according to multiple sources.
The congressman was scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump and tested positive in a pre-flight screening at the White House.
Gohmert 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.”
According to ABC News reporter Katherine Faulders, Gohmert “returned to his Capitol Hill office and told staff he wanted to inform them *in person* instead of finding out from news reports” about his diagnosis.
Faulders adds that “some staffers were already in the process of leaving” the office to avoid potentially getting infected with COVID-19 when Gohmert arrived.
Politico reporter Jake Sherman confirmed Faulders’s report about Gohmert showing up to his office and said that there is a “lot of frustration about the Texas Republican” at the moment.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 29, 2020
Gohmert later suggested that he may have contracted the virus because he was wearing a mask, despite health guidance encouraging mask-wearing to reduce the spread.
“I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, I might have put some germs — some virus — onto the mask and breathed it in,” Gohmert said in an interview with Texas station KETK.