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Texas congressman tests positive for COVID-19 after inconsistently wearing a mask

There’s no evidence COVID-19 can be caught from a mask, but Rep. Louie Gohmert said wearing one causes him to touch his face.

Congressman Louie Gohmert was supposed to fly Wednesday to Midland to be by President Donald Trump’s side during a visit to Texas.

But a negative coronavirus test is required before anyone can board Air Force One, and on Wednesday morning, Gohmert, a Republican representative from Tyler, tested positive for COVID-19 at the White House.

“I’m asymptomatic. I don’t have any of the symptoms listed as part of COVID-19,” Gohmert said in a tweeted video, “but apparently I have the Wuhan Virus.”

Some consider that term to be racist.

After a second positive test at the White House confirmed the diagnosis, Gohmert returned to his office at the capitol.

He told KYTX-TV of Tyler that staff members were leaving to get tested and he did not come close to them.

Gohmert did not have on a mask while questioning U.S. Attorney Bill Barr on Tuesday during a House judiciary committee hearing, but he said House rules allow for a mask to be taken off when a member is asking questions.

In previous House hearings, he’s been seen on video with a cloth mask around his neck even while he is not questioning a witness.

“I’ve seen him without a mask on the floor,” said U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen.

Gohmert did not have on a mask while walking through the halls of the U.S Capitol after Tuesday's hearing ended, as seen on video captured by C-SPAN.

But, two photos taken by Associated Press photographers in June show him wearing one while inside the capitol.

In the video he tweeted, Gohmert said he’d been wearing a mask more in the last couple of weeks than he had “in the last four months.”

“I don’t know about everybody, but I’m moving [the mask] to make it comfortable and I can’t help but wonder if that puts some germs in the mask,” he said.

Credit: Associated Press
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., right, speaks to Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)

There is no evidence wearing a mask can lead to someone contracting the coronavirus.

U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D–Houston, was in the judiciary committee hearing with Gohmert on Tuesday.

“I don’t think I was exposed because I wasn’t anywhere near him,” she said.

“But I think there’s a lot of concern about the exposure he may have imposed on others around him.”

Gohmert said because he now has the virus, he will consistently wear a mask while he is in public. But, he plans to isolate in D.C. for the next 10 days.

“I’ll be very, very careful to make sure I don’t give it to anybody else,” he said in the video on Twitter.

There is fallout from the congressman’s diagnosis.

Because Gohmert was near Barr, a spokesman for the Department of Justice said the attorney general will now be tested.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, will now quarantine for two weeks because she said she sat next to Gohmert on a plane Sunday evening.

A Republican candidate for a congressional seat in Houston also announced on Twitter that he tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday morning before he was supposed to appear in Midland.

Wesley Hunt said when he learned of the results of his test, he rented a car and drove home.

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