U.S. Attorney General William Barr to be tested for coronavirus

Saturday, 01 Aug, 2020

CNN's John Berman took a remarkably blunt view of the news that Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has tested positive for the coronavirus.

During Tuesday's hearing, Committee Chairman Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, scolded several Republicans, including ranking member Jim Jordan, for failing to wear masks. He and Attorney General Bill Barr were seen arriving together to the hearing room for Barr's testimony before Congress yesterday, both without masks. In his statement, Gohmert also baselessly floated the possibility that he could have contracted the virus from wearing a mask.

Mr Gohmert then wondered if his mask was to blame for contracting COVID-19.

Cases of coronavirus in Texas have surged since the state reopened.

Following Gohmert's confirmation, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) announced she would be self-quarantining after interactions with Gohmert in recent days.

Louie Gohmert attends a US House Natural Resources Committee hearing. In the same interview he said that if he ever tested positive, "I'll wear a mask".

"Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the Hall of the House except that members may remove their masks temporarily when recognized", Pelosi said.

It was evident that following Gohmert's positive test result, the potential spread of coronavirus was on the minds of members of Congress on Wednesday. Rand Paul, a doctor who says it's unnecessary because he previously tested positive for the virus.

Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.), the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, also delivered a presentation in the meeting about the health and safety precautions that congressional offices should be following.

But he took it off a few times and was seen walking and talking with Mr Barr before the hearing.

After Gohmert tested positive, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Barr would be tested today.

Multiple GOP senators said they were pushing McConnell to allow expanded testing.

Returning to the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday in spite of the diagnosis he had just received, Gohmert was interviewed by a Texas news station about what had just happened.

That kind of language is vintage Gohmert - he's a fierce fan of the president and has represented Tyler and East Texas since 2005.

An aide to Gohmert sent an extraordinary email to Politico after it broke the news of Gohmert's diagnosis suggesting that the congressman's entire staff had been ordered to continue going to work amid the pandemic in order to be an example of how the nation could safely reopen, and that those who wore masks had been berated for doing so. "I've regularly instructed all Members to wear their masks and hope this is a lesson by all my colleagues".