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 GohmertOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump order aims to curb US agencies' use of foreign workers after TVA outrage | EPA transition back to the office alarms employees | Hundreds of green groups oppose BLM nominee Interior stresses 'showing up for work' after Grijalva tests positive for coronavirus Trump's junk medicine puts his own supporters at deadly risk MORE (R-Texas), who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerHelping our seniors before it's too late House approves .3 trillion spending package for 2021 GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor 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 John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran 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 BarrGOP lawmaker calls for Justice Dept. to probe international court Barr pulls over to thank pro-police rally in Virginia Trump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent 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 ColeHouse approves .3 trillion spending package for 2021 Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert House panel advances health bill with B in emergency COVID-19 funds 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 CunninghamMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Hoyer: Maskless Republicans a public health threat Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D-S.C.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah), Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartHouse Republicans introduce legislation to give states 0 million for elections Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Fla.), Neal DunnNeal Patrick DunnMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 House GOP lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Fla.), Mike KellyGeorge (Mike) Joseph KellyMultiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 Trump may have power, but he still has no plan to fight the pandemic MORE (R-Pa.), Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor Pelosi to require masks on House floor Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert MORE (R-S.C.) and Morgan GriffithHoward (Morgan) Morgan GriffithPelosi to require masks on House floor Multiple lawmakers self-quarantine after exposure to Gohmert Gohmert tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Va.), as well as Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus 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 NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter MORE (D-N.Y.) admonished GOP Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWorld's most trafficked mammal gives Trump new way to hit China on COVID-19 The 'pitcher of warm spit' — Veepstakes and the fate of Mike Pence Tucker Carlson calls Fauci a 'fraud' after tense hearing MORE (Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonGOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor The Hill's Coronavirus Report: iBIO Chairman and CEO Thomas Isett says developing a safe vaccine is paramount; US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths with roughy one death per minute The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill 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.