Rep. Louie Gohmert on Wednesday confirmed that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and wondered aloud whether wearing a mask may have led to his infection.
The Texas Republican, who has often voiced skepticism over the value of wearing face coverings, also disputed reports that he was not wearing a mask on Capitol Hill, despite evidence to the contrary.
In a video message posted to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, Gohmert said he “can’t help but wonder” if he contracted the virus from adjusting his mask with his hands to fit properly.
“It is interesting, and I don’t know about everybody, but when I have a mask on, I’m moving it to make it comfortable,” he said. “And I can’t help but wonder if that put some germs in the mask.”
Gohmert was tested at the White House early Wednesday before he was due to accompany President Trump on a trip to Texas. News of his positive test was first reported by Politico.
“Reports of my demise are a great deal premature,” Gohmert said. “I went to the White House today, but before you go into the White House they test you with the quick test, and it tested positive. But they get false positives sometimes, so they retested me with the swab that goes way up in your sinuses, and it finally came back. It was positive too.
“I’m asymptomatic,” he continued. “I don’t have any of the symptoms that are listed as part of COVID-19. But apparently I have the Wuhan virus.”
Gohmert said that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year, texted to tell him that “in 10 days I should be very well immune” to the virus.
He also disputed reports that he wasn’t wearing a mask at Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.
“I’ve worn a mask more the last week or two than I have in the last whole four months,” Gohmert said. “And I was wearing my mask at the Judiciary hearing.”
But he was seen at various points during the hearing without a face covering, and on video walking behind Attorney General William Barr in the hall without one.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said that Barr, who testified for more than four hours before the panel, would be tested for COVID-19 Wednesday.
“Now that I apparently have it,” Gohmert added, “I will be very, very careful to make sure I don’t give it to anybody else, and we’ll see how it goes.”
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