Mask-skeptic Republican Louie Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19

Louie Gohmert wearing a suit and tie Aaron P. Bernstein  Getty

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, who during the pandemic has repeatedly refused to wear a mask in public, tested positive for the coronavirus illness.

Gohmert was scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump and tested positive in a pre-screen at the White House.

At times Gohmert could be seen both wearing a mask and wearing it on his neck.

Still, the congressman frequently appeared on the House floor without a mask, arguing he is tested often. He made the discovery during Wednesday's prescreening procedure at the White House.

He added that Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, are discussing whether to require testing for lawmakers entering the Capitol complex.

It was evident that following Gohmert's positive test result, the potential spread of coronavirus was on the minds of members of Congress on Wednesday.

"Before you go anywhere with the president or have a meeting with the president, we are always tested", Gohmert said. "It is interesting...but when I have a mask on, I'm moving it [with my hands] to make it comfortable and I can't help but wonder if that put some germs in the mask".

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Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, studies notes during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the oversight of the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Washington.

A photo on Twitter shows the two men in proximity, neither wearing masks. "This stems from a selfish act by Mr. Gohmert, who is just one member of Congress".

"I want to wish @replouiegohmert a full & speedy recovery", Mr Nadler wrote. "I've regularly instructed all Members to wear their masks and hope this is a lesson by all my colleagues".

House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries took it a step further, saying Gohmert and other Republicans' refusal to wear masks may be rooted in the example set by President Trump.

He said he will quarantine for 10 days, based on the advice of the Capitol physician.

The US now has more than 4.3 million reported cases of Covid-19 and is approaching 150,000 deaths.

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