One of Congress's biggest mask-opponents has tested positive for coronavirus


Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, just one day after he appeared at a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr sans mask. Gohmert, whose understanding of science includes the time he insisted that sending gay people into space would ultimately destroy the human species, is one of several GOP lawmakers who have shunned practical measures to contain coronavirus, such as wearing face coverings, and instead insisted that he'd only wear a mask "if I get it."

Well, he's got it.

According to Politico, Gohmert is now the seventh member of the House (six of whom are Republicans) to test positive for coronavirus. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) also tested positive for the virus.

Just one day earlier, Gohmert was filmed walking in close proximity to Barr after the attorney general's combative House committee hearing.

Barr will reportedly submit for COVID-19 testing, following Gohmert's infection.

Just one month ago, Gohmert justified his refusal to wear a mask by explaining that: "I don't have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I've never had it."

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), who chaired Tuesday's hearing with Barr and at one point chastised several GOP committee members — although not Gohmert — for refusing to abide by House rules mandating mask usage, tweeted a decidedly schadenfreude-laced message of support in response to Gohmert's diagnosis.

"I'm so sorry for him," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC's Garrett Haake after learning of Gohmert's infection. "But I’m also sorry [for] my members, who are concerned, because he has been showing up at meetings without a mask and making a thing of it," she added.

Gohmert has yet to publicly confirm his diagnosis, but he did reportedly inform his colleagues of his test results Wednesday morning. He allegedly did so in person.

Update 1:23 p.m. ET: Gohmert confirmed Wednesday that had contracted what he insisted on calling the "Wuhan virus," in a rambling video posted to his Twitter account. In addition to claiming that he had, in fact, regularly worn a face mask over the past week, Gohmert also mused as to whether his adjusting his face covering "to make it more comfortable" had "put some germs in the mask." He ultimately concluded: "Anyway, who knows?"