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U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert has tested positive for the coronavirus, as members of Congress continue to take what precautions they can while still conducting the people’s business.
MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake posted on Twitter that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed regret about the Texas Republican’s condition, but then appeared to chide him for it because of his refusal to wear masks.
“‘I’m so sorry for him,’ @SpeakerPelosi tells me of reports @replouiegohmert tested positive for COVID. ‘But I’m also sorry my members, who are concerned, because he has been showing up at meetings without a mask and making a thing of it,’” Haake wrote.
“‘Hopefully now he will look after his health, and others,’ the speaker continues,” he added.
“Hopefully now he will look after his health, and others’,” the speaker continues.
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) July 29, 2020
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler also expressed regret for Gohmert but could not hold back from criticizing him as well.
“I want to wish @replouiegohmert a full & speedy recovery,” he tweeted. “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
According to reports, Gohmert tested positive for the virus during prescreening procedures at the White House on Wednesday, Politico reported. He was scheduled to fly with President Trump to Texas later in the day.
Gohmert told CNN last month he was not donning a mask because he was being regularly tested for the virus
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday with U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Nadler lectured members about wearing a mask but did so while his own was dangling uselessly from his face.
Rep. Jerry Nadler yells at members for <…checks notes…> not wearing masks … while he himself isn't wearing a mask.
Folks, this IS Congress and we pay their salary. pic.twitter.com/HmvzT5lN2O
— Mary Vought (@MaryVought) July 28, 2020
It’s unclear why Pelosi and Nadler, as well as the Washington media, would single Gohmert out since Barr wasn’t wearing a mask during his testimony and individual members, including the Speaker, often give interviews to media in House corridors.
As for Gohmert, he told CNN last month, “[I]f I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
In all, Reps. Mario Diaz Balart (R-Fla.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Tom Rice (R-S.C.) have tested positive for the virus. In the Senate, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has tested positive as well.
In May, Pelosi, in conjunction with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), rejected the Trump administration’s offer of rapid coronavirus testing for the U.S. Capitol. Not all lawmakers wear masks in the building.
Gohmert attended the explosive Barr hearings on Tuesday. Video of his testimony shows him not wearing a mask, while Judiciary Committee members were socially distanced.
It should be noted that coronavirus tests are far from 100 percent accurate. Often, people can display false positives, only to find subsequent tests come back negative.
Earlier this month, NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson was forced to withdraw from an important race in Indianapolis after testing positive for the virus. Several subsequent tests came back negative, leaving him frustrated.
Regarding mask-wearing, experts disagree on the effectiveness of mask-wearing. Others have said the only one that truly stops coronavirus is the N95 model, noting that cloth and surgical masks are not enough, including the country’s top immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
For his part, President Donald Trump has resisted calls from Democrats and Left-leaning media figures to implement a nationwide mask mandate for anyone in public.
“No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace earlier this month. “I don’t agree with the statement that if everybody wears a mask, [coronavirus] disappears.”