Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert tests positive for the coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask in the Capitol

Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesRep. Louie Gohmert confers with Steve Castor, a Republican staff attorney, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on June 24.
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, tested positive for the coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask on the House floor and around the Capitol, Politico reported on Wednesday.
  • Gohmert had defended not wearing a mask, telling CNN in an interview last month that he’d regularly wear a face covering only if he contracted the virus.
  • The conservative lawmaker attended Attorney General William Barr’s hearing on Tuesday and reportedly spoke with Barr without wearing a mask.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, tested positive for the coronavirus after refusing to wear a mask on the House floor and around the Capitol, Politico first reported on Wednesday.

Gohmert had defended not wearing a mask even when he’s not able to socially distance. In an interview with CNN last month, he said he’d regularly wear a face covering only if he contracted the virus.

“I don’t have the coronavirus. Turns out, as of yesterday, I’ve never had it,” he said. “But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”

The 66-year-old congressman was planning to fly to Texas on Wednesday morning with President Donald Trump but tested positive at the White House. He reportedly informed his congressional staff of his positive test during an in-person meeting.

The conservative lawmaker attended Attorney General William Barr’s hearing on Tuesday and was filmed walking near Barr while both men weren’t wearing masks. A reporter said she also saw them standing near each other and speaking briefly.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, condemned Republican members who took off their masks in the hearing room on Tuesday.

A Justice Department representative said the attorney general would be tested for the virus on Wednesday because of his contact with Gohmert.

Five other Republican House lawmakers and one Democratic member of Congress have also tested positive for COVID-19. One senator, Republican Rand Paul, has tested positive.

Gohmert’s office didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

On Wednesday, Nadler said he hoped that Gohmert’s contracting the virus would be “a lesson” for all members of Congress to take necessary safety precautions.

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