Mask-shunning Republican Congressman Gohmert positive for COVID-19 - report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who steadfastly refused to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Politico reported, raising concerns that other members of Congress may also have been exposed. Attorney General William Barr, who testified to a committee hearing on Tuesday that Gohmert took part in, will be tested for coronavirus as a result, a Justice Department spokesman said

Reuters July 30, 2020 00:10:46 IST
Mask-shunning Republican Congressman Gohmert positive for COVID-19 - report

Maskshunning Republican Congressman Gohmert positive for COVID19  report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who steadfastly refused to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Politico reported, raising concerns that other members of Congress may also have been exposed.

Attorney General William Barr, who testified to a committee hearing on Tuesday that Gohmert took part in, will be tested for coronavirus as a result, a Justice Department spokesman said.

A U.S. representative from Texas, where coronavirus cases have surged since the state reopened, Gohmert tested positive in a prescreening at the White House, Politico said, citing multiple sources.

Masks, which health experts say help to spread the transmission of the highly contagious virus, have become a symbol of America's bitter political divide, with some Republicans including Gohmert shunning them after President Donald Trump long refused to wear one in public.

Spokeswomen for Gohmert did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

During Tuesday's hearing, Committee Chairman Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, scolded several Republicans including ranking member Jim Jordan for failing to wear masks.

In a Twitter posting on Wednesday, Nadler wished Gohmert a "full and speedy recovery."

Democratic House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he would consider having all House members tested as a result of Gohmert's testing positive.

"Louie Gohmert ought to quarantine himself right now," House Hoyer told reporters.

Nearly 150,000 people in the United States have died of coronavirus, and almost 4.4 million have tested positive, according to a Reuters tally. Infection rates have begun to soar in recent weeks as states lifted early restrictions on social gatherings and travel intended to slow the virus' spread.

Several members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and all have recovered.

Republican Rand Paul in March became the first senator to contract the disease, and faced criticism for his colleague after spending time walking maskless around the Capitol, even using its gym, while waiting for test results. After recovering, Paul, a physician, also shunned a mask, arguing that he is now immune. Other medical professionals have said it is unclear whether a person can contract COVID-19 a second time.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Richard Cowan, Sarah N. Lynch and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Scott Malone, Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.