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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 GohmertNIH director: Mask politicalization may have cost 'tens of thousands' of lives in US Democrats should make the 'Bee-Gees' the face of the Republican Party GOP lawmakers call for Pelosi to be fined over new screenings MORE (R-Texas), who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerMarjorie Taylor Greene's delay tactics frustrate GOP Here are the House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump Growing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege 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 TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump 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 BarrPolitics in the Department of Justice can be a good thing Majority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case 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 ColeDemocratic women sound alarm on female unemployment House votes to kick Greene off committees over embrace of conspiracy theories LIVE COVERAGE: House debates removing Greene from committees 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 CunninghamLobbying world We lost in November — we're proud we didn't take corporate PAC money Chamber of Commerce slams GOP effort to challenge Biden's win MORE (D-S.C.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartFlorida Republicans push Biden to implement Trump order on Venezuela Here are the three GOP lawmakers who voted for the Equality Act Bottom line MORE (R-Fla.), Neal DunnNeal Patrick DunnOVERNIGHT 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 READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Fla.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Supreme Court won't review Pennsylvania GOP election lawsuits Pennsylvania's Democratic lt. governor files to run for Senate MORE (R-Pa.), Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceMarjorie Taylor Greene's delay tactics frustrate GOP Republicans, please save your party Republican Party going off the rails? MORE (R-S.C.) and Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithHouse Republicans urge Democrats to call hearing with tech CEOs Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (R-Va.), as well as Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Bipartisan group of senators introduces bill to rein in Biden's war powers 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 NadlerHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' MORE (D-N.Y.) admonished GOP Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Republicans call for hearing on Biden's handling of border surge Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' MORE (Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonCassidy defends vote to proceed with Trump trial after GOP backlash Cassidy calls Trump attorneys 'disorganized' after surprise vote House Democrats renew push for checks on presidential pardons 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.