GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 after not wearing a mask in Congress

Rep. Louie Gohmert questions U.S. Attorney General William Barr during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on July 28, 2020 in Washington, DC
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who has often refused to wear a mask on Capitol Hill amid the coronavirus pandemic, has tested positive for COVID-19, Politico reports.

Gohmert tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the White House on Wednesday morning before he was set to travel with President Trump to Texas, according to the report. As Politico notes, Gohmert "has been walking around the Capitol without a mask." On Tuesday, he was in attendance for a hearing with Attorney General William Barr, and according to Bloomberg News' Erik Wasson, he at one point didn't have a mask on when he was "a few feet from" Barr outside of the hearing.

CNN's Manu Raju additionally reports, "I've spent a lot of time in House gallery watching Gohmert frequently interact with colleagues and not wearing a mask. He doesn't maintain social distance and talks at length with members."

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Questioned about this by CNN last month, Gohmert said, "I don't have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I've never had it. But if I get it, you'll never see me without a mask." When CNN noted that health officials have said everyone should wear a mask in public because those without symptoms can spread COVID-19, he said, "But I keep being tested and I don't have it. So I'm not afraid of you, but if I get it I'll wear a mask."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.