Louie Gohmert Refused to Wear a Mask in Congress. Now He’s Tested Positive for Coronavirus.

Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican who for months has steadfastly not worn a mask nor maintained social distancing in the halls of Congress, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple sources. Gohmert was scheduled to fly with President Donald Trump to Midland, Texas on Wednesday to attend a fundraiser and tour an oil rig. According to CNN, Gohmert tested positive for COVID-19 during a pre-flight screening at the White House and is now not joining the president’s convoy to Texas. 

Even among Republicans, Gohmert stands out as one of the few who refuses to wear a mask when not mandatory (House rules mandate that all members of Congress must wear a mask during in-person committee hearings). On Tuesday, Gohmert attended two House hearings, including the judiciary committee’s hearing with Attorney General William Barr. Prior to the hearing, Gohmert was captured on video walking with Barr, both men unmasked. Politico reports that Barr will be tested for COVID-19 at some point Wednesday. 

 

In June, Gohmert tried to explain why he doesn’t where a mask, giving CNN an answer that “defied the science and the recommendations of leading public health experts.” But he said that if he were to get coronavirus, “you’ll never see me without a mask.” After learning that he had tested positive for COVID-19, Gohmert told his staff the news in person. It’s unclear if he was wearing a mask. 

In an email to Politico‘s Jake Sherman, an aide in Gohmert’s office said that the Texas congressman requires his all of his staff to work in his Washington, DC office so they “could be an example to American on how to open safely.” Gohmert also allegedly berated his staff for wearing masks. 

 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate