Representative Louie Gohmert tested positive for the coronavirus during a COVID-19 pre-screening at the White House before he was scheduled to fly to Midland, Texas, with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Gohmert, a Texas Republican, has faced criticism for not wearing a mask at the Capitol, Politico reported. Gohmert said in a statement on Twitter that he has worn a mask frequently in the last two weeks and described accounts to the contrary as “fake news.” CNN also reported Gohmert been wearing a face covering more frequently in the past two weeks. Gohmert told CNN in June that he had been seen without a mask because he had been tested frequently and knew he did not have the coronavirus.
“But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask,” he said.
Gohmert is in his eighth term serving Texas’ 1st Congressional District. He has held the office since 2005.
Here’s what you need to know:
Gohmert Does Not Have Coronavirus Symptoms & Said He Has Been Wearing a Mask in Recent Weeks
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) July 29, 2020
Gohmert is not suffering symptoms from the coronavirus as of Wednesday, July 29, 2020, he said in a video statement.
“The reports of my demise are a great deal premature,” he said.
As he was going into the White House on Wednesday, he was given a rapid test for the coronavirus, which indicated he was positive for COVID-19. He was then given a swab test, which also came back positive, he said.
“I’m asymptomatic. I don’t have any of the symptoms that are listed as part of COVID-19, but apparently I have the Wuhan virus,” he said.
He added that he has recently been wearing a mask, and noted that he was not one of those admonished at hearings for removing face coverings.
“Look, I’ve worn a mask more the last week or two than I have in the whole last four months, and I was wearing a mask at the judiciary hearing,” he said.
— The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC 📺 (@TheBeatWithAri) July 29, 2020
Gohmert questioned whether touching his mask while wearing it caused him to contract the virus.
“It is interesting, and I don’t know about everybody, but when I have a mask on I’m moving it to make it comfortable, and I can’t help but wonder if that, you know, put some germs in the mask,” he said.
He added that he will be cautious so he does not spread the virus.
“Now that I apparently have it, I will be very, very careful to make sure I don’t give it to anybody else, and we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “God bless you all.”
He told Sean Hannity of Fox News Thursday he would take hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin and zinc to treat COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.
“My doctor and I are all in,” he told Hannity, adding he would start the treatment “in a day or two.”
Gohmert Said He Will ‘Religiously’ Wear a Mask Following His Positive COVID-19 Test
My statement about today's diagnosis: pic.twitter.com/qvf7zIcgdN
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) July 29, 2020
“I will not be around anybody for the next 10 days without making sure that I have a mask,” Gohmert said. “Because that’s the real danger. Once you have it, giving it to somebody else, and that’s when a mask is most important.”
Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) wished Gohmert a speedy recovery on Twitter Wednesday.
“I want to wish @replouiegohmert a full & speedy recovery,” he wrote on Twitter. “When individuals refuse to take the necessary precautions it puts everyone at risk. I’ve regularly instructed all Members to wear their masks and hope this is a lesson by all my colleagues.”
I want to wish @replouiegohmert a full & speedy recovery.
When individuals refuse to take the necessary precautions it puts everyone at risk. I’ve regularly instructed all Members to wear their masks and hope this is a lesson by all my colleagues. https://t.co/WstJuAW9BG
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) July 29, 2020
Nadler had scolded several members during the House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, for taking off their masks, Politico reported. Gohmert wore a mask during the hearing and was not among those who were reminded to wear face coverings. Members were permitted to remove their masks while speaking.
Gohmert told KETK he will self-isolate for 10 days but still believes wearing a mask should be up to an individual’s decision, adding, “This used to be a free country.”
“If somebody feels strongly about everybody should wear a mask, then they shouldn’t be around people that don’t wear masks,” he said.
However, he said anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus should wear a mask. Gohmert represents much of East Texas, where many counties are not enforcing Governor Greg Abbott’s mandatory face mask order, which allows fines to be levied for noncompliance. East Texas counties have been mostly relying on public compliance, KETK reported.
Gohmert said in his statement on Twitter shortly after the positive test result that he is feeling fine, and that he will do his part to prevent the spread of the virus.