WASHINGTON (KXAN/AP) — Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert has COVID-19 and had to cancel his trip with President Donald Trump to the Permian Basin in Texas, multiple sources say.
Politico’s Jake Sherman first reported the diagnosis, saying Rep. Gohmert found out about the positive test during a pre-screening procedure Wednesday morning.
Rep. Gohmert, 66, has been adamant about not wearing a mask around Capitol Hill, telling CNN on Monday, “I don’t have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I’ve never had it. But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
In an interview with KETK Wednesday, Rep. Gohmert said he will isolate for 10 days after testing positive first with a rapid test, which takes about 15 minutes to show results, then a subsequent test that took about an hour to confirm.
Rep. Gohmert said that he still believes people can make decisions on their own about wearing a mask, saying: …”this used to be a free country.”
“If somebody feels strongly about everybody should wear a mask, then they shouldn’t be around people that don’t wear masks,” he said.
Rep. Gohmert was scheduled to fly Wednesday with President Donald Trump to Midland and Odessa to tour an oil rig and attended a campaign fundraiser.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said he wishes Rep. Gohmert a “full and speedy recovery,” and he hopes his colleagues take this as a warning.
It was not immediately clear where Gohmert was after he left the White House.
An eight-term lawmaker, he participated in the House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday where Attorney General William Barr testified. Before the hearing, Gohmert was seen approaching the meeting room a few feet behind Barr, with neither man wearing a mask.
Gohmert also voted Tuesday on the House floor.
He is at least the 10th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the coronavirus, which can cause COVID-19.
The Associated Press contributed to this report