Politics

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for COVID-19

Alejo Vazquez/iStockBy KATHERINE FAULDERS and BENJAMIN SIEGEL, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who has dismissed calls to wear a mask while working on Capitol Hill, tested positive for the coronavirus, sources tell ABC News.

Gohmert, 66, tested positive in a pre-screening procedure at the White House before he was scheduled to fly with President Donald Trump to Texas on Wednesday. Following his positive diagnosis, the representative returned to his Capitol Hill office to inform his staff, people familiar with the matter say.

It comes one day after Gohmert attended a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr and other top lawmakers.

Though social distancing precautions were in place, video circulating on social media from a reporter at The Hill apparently shows an unmasked Barr and Gohmert walking into the hearing room Tuesday.

Last month, Gohmert said he was choosing to not wear a mask because he was being tested regularly, a reasoning Trump has also used.

“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,” he told CNN in June.

When warned about asymptomatic transmission of the virus, Gohmert replied, “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.”

The eight-term congressman is the 10th lawmaker in Congress to test positive for the novel virus, sources say.

His staff has not responded to requests for comment.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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