For months now, many Republicans have avoided wearing masks when appearing in government buildings. Lawmakers like Jim Jordan and Rand Paul have made a bit of a show of their refusal to take extra precautions during the pandemic.
Texas’ Louie Gohmert is yet another GOP congressman who has often refused to wear a mask in public. That decision came back to bite him on Wednesday when it was announced that he had come down with Covid.
While answering questions from reporters, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy coined Gohmert with a new and unfortunate nickname.
“We want to be able to trace them, put them out,” said McCarthy. “And just as Congressman Covid, uh, Congressman Louie Gohmert says that he didn’t have any symptoms. And there could be other people like that.”
Kevin McCarthy accidentally calls Louie Gohmert “Congressman COVID” pic.twitter.com/UcQcvHtEU9
— The Recount (@therecount) July 29, 2020
Gohmert has been widely mocked for coming down with the illness as he has refused to wear masks the past few months. He told CNN’s Manu Raju in June, “I don’t have the coronavirus. … As of yesterday, I’ve never had it. But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”
The Congressman also reportedly returned to his office following the diagnosis because he wanted to personally tell his staff he’d been infected.
Gohmert even continued to question the use of face masks and wondered if they could have contributed to his positive test. He remarked Wednesday to a Texas TV station, “I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, if I might have put some germs, some of the virus on the mask and breathed it in.”
Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman who steadfastly refused to wear a mask, tested positive for COVID-19 https://t.co/vD0rCqYc1E pic.twitter.com/YjKr4YMtDD
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 29, 2020