Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert

Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert
© Greg Nash

At least two lawmakers said Wednesday that they will self-quarantine after recently being around Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertGaetz, Greene and Gohmert turned away from jail to visit Jan. 6 defendants House GOP stages mask mandate protest Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony MORE (R-Texas), who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerHouse passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight Funding fight imperils National Guard ops Lobbying world MORE (R-Texas) said her decision to self-quarantine came after she sat next to Gohmert on a flight from their home state over the weekend.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, also said he will self-quarantine after chairing a hearing that Gohmert attended on Tuesday.

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Gohmert tested positive for coronavirus while he was being screened at the White House ahead of a planned trip to Texas with President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE on Wednesday.

The Texas Republican had attended multiple hearings on Capitol Hill the previous day, including the Natural Resources Committee hearing about the Park Police's handling of protesters at Lafayette Square last month and a Judiciary hearing with Attorney General William BarrBill BarrTrump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too MORE.

Gohmert did not wear a mask while outside the Judiciary hearing room, including while he was near Barr. He also initially did not have a facial covering on inside the hearing room.

Grijalva said in a statement that he will self-quarantine until he gets tested and receives the results.

"In the meantime, my work schedule and the lives of my employees are disrupted. This stems from a selfish act by Mr. Gohmert, who is just one member of Congress," Grijalva said.

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A spokesperson for Granger said she was "seated next to Representative Gohmert on a flight from Texas Sunday evening. At the direction of the Attending Physician, and out of an abundance of caution, she is self-quarantining.”

Granger serves as the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. Her self-quarantine will come just as the House is slated to take up a government spending package for the next fiscal year, meaning another member of the committee will have to take her place leading floor debate for the Republicans.

The Granger spokesperson said that Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeHere's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer Overnight Health Care: FDA adds new warning to J&J COVID-19 vaccine | WHO chief pushes back on Pfizer booster shot | Fauci defends Biden's support for recommending vaccines 'one on one' HHS spending bill advances without Hyde Amendment MORE (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Appropriations panel, is likely to fill in for her.

Fellow lawmakers aren't the only ones rushing to get tested or self-quarantine as a consequence of Gohmert's actions.

A spokesperson for Barr said earlier Wednesday that the attorney general will be tested for COVID-19 after being near Gohmert.

And at least one member of the Capitol press corps, a reporter for Bloomberg News, also got tested on Wednesday after an encounter with Gohmert.

After testing positive, Gohmert returned to his office on Capitol Hill to conduct a remote interview with Texas television affiliate KETK, during which he suggested that his mask may have been to blame for the infection.

The Texas lawmaker said he “can't help but wonder if my keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, that if I might have put some germs or some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in — I don't know.”

Public health experts say that masks are an effective way for people who have the virus but are not showing symptoms to avoid spreading it to others.

Eight other members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19: Reps. Joe CunninghamJoseph Cunningham'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Top cyber Pentagon official overseeing defense contractor project placed on leave Joe Cunningham to enter race for South Carolina governor MORE (D-S.C.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartDefense contractors ramp up donations to GOP election objectors Bottom line GOP lawmakers ask Biden administration for guidance on reopening cruise industry MORE (R-Fla.), Neal DunnNeal Patrick DunnSix takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Acting FTC chair urges Congress to revive agency authority after Supreme Court decision OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters MORE (R-Fla.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyLobbying world Lobbying world Liz Cheney says McConnell, McCarthy are heads of GOP MORE (R-Pa.), Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RicePro-impeachment Republicans outpace GOP rivals in second-quarter fundraising Cheney, Kinzinger are sole GOP votes for Jan. 6 select committee The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE (R-S.C.) and Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithGOP lawmakers press social media giants for data on impacts on children's mental health Lawmakers press federal agencies on scope of SolarWinds attack House Republicans urge Democrats to call hearing with tech CEOs MORE (R-Va.), as well as Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (R-Ky.). 

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) also had a "presumed" case of COVID-19, but was not officially tested.

House Democrats last month began requiring masks for lawmakers while they attend committee hearings, but the policy has repeatedly encountered resistance from some GOP lawmakers. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBiden backs effort to include immigration in budget package Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Britney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator MORE (D-N.Y.) admonished GOP Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan acknowledges talking to Trump on Jan. 6 AP Fact Check rates GOP claim Pelosi blocked National Guard on Jan. 6 'false' Officers' powerful Capitol riot testimony underscores Pelosi's partisan blunder MORE (Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonGOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Republicans divided on how hard to push vaccines McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (La.) for not wearing masks during the hearing with Barr. Like Gohmert, Jordan was also seen walking around outside the hearing room on Tuesday without a mask.

Updated: 4:45 p.m.