Gohmert returns to Congress despite possible coronavirus exposure after physician recommendation
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) returned to Congress on Monday, despite potentially being exposed to the coronavirus, saying he was advised by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) physician that going into self-quarantine isn’t necessary.
Gohmert said a House physician informed him that he could have been exposed to the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), in a Twitter statement posted Monday.
The Texas representative said he was then contacted by a CDC physician who said he could go back to Washington.
“We discussed all the specific circumstances of which he was aware along with my circumstances, including that I was and am asymptomatic, he said that all things considered, I was cleared to return to Washington,” Gohmert tweeted.
After CDC physician called me Sunday evening, and we discussed all the specific circumstances of which he was aware along with my circumstances, including that I was and am asymptomatic, he said that all things considered, I was cleared to return to Washington. (2/3)
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) March 9, 2020
Gohmert said the CDC physician said “he would return if he were me” but stressed that the lawmaker and his staff follow proper hygienic practices.
“I took the advice of the expert and returned to work,” he said. “No one is panicking and we are observing the recommended precautions.”
The Texas representative’s decision to return to Congress comes as several lawmakers have opted to self-quarantine amid worries about contracting coronavirus.
GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Doug Collins (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) have decided to self-quarantine after interacting with an individual who attended CPAC and later tested positive for the virus.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also had contact with the individual who attended CPAC and went into self-quarantine Sunday.
Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley (Calif.) also announced she will self-quarantine Monday after possibly coming in contact with the virus.
The coronavirus has spread to at least 36 states and Washington, D.C., with at least 600 cases and 22 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.