Report: Rep. Gohmert Tests Positive Ahead of Trump Trip

Justice Department says Barr will now be tested
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2020 12:20 PM CDT
Report: Rep. Gohmert Tests Positive Ahead of Trump Trip
Rep. Louie Gohmert studies notes during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the oversight of the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, July 28, 2020.   (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, who said last month that he doesn't usually wear a mask on Capitol Hill because he doesn't have the coronavirus, now has the coronavirus, sources tell outlets including Politico and the New York Times. The sources say the Texan lawmaker was tested at the White House Wednesday morning ahead of a trip to his home state with President Trump. Gohmert, 66, has attended multiple congressional hearings this week, including Tuesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing. Lawmakers sat at a distance from each other during the hearing and Gohmert, unlike some of his colleagues, apparently adhered to the requirement that masks be worn when not speaking, but he was seen unmasked in close proximity to Attorney General William Barr during a conversation, the Times reports.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec says Barr will be tested for the virus Wednesday. In a tweet, Gohmert chief of staff Connie Hair did not confirm or deny the diagnosis, but suggested masks can cause infections, the Washington Post reports. "He was NOT admonished for not wearing a mask because he wore a mask at the hearing, unless he was speaking, and has been wearing one which ensures that you touch things and adjust the mask and whatever you might have touched stays on the mask to infect you," she said in a retort to a tweet from Politico's Jake Sherman. According to Politico, which first reported on the infection, Gohmert told his aides in person about the diagnosis after their story was published. (Read more Louie Gohmert stories.)

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