Barr to be tested for COVID-19 after interaction with Gohmert

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Garland sparks anger with willingness to side with Trump Trump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says MORE will be tested for coronavirus one day after he came into close contact with a GOP lawmaker who since tested positive for the virus, a Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed.

Barr, who testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, came within close range of Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertWray grilled on FBI's handling of Jan. 6 Gohmert asks if federal agencies can change Earth's or moon's orbits to fight climate change Democrats debate shape of new Jan. 6 probe MORE (R-Texas) shortly before he entered an auditorium in the Capitol where the hearing took place.

While Barr had arrived wearing a mask, he walked into the hearing room without one, during which time he came into contact with Gohmert, who also was not wearing a mask. The two exchanged a comment or two before Gohmert and Barr parted ways.

Congressional aides confirmed to The Hill that Gohmert, who has declined to wear a mask in the Capitol except when mandated for hearings, has tested positive for COVID-19.


Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Barr will be tested on Wednesday, one day after the encounter.

"The Attorney General will be tested today," Kupec said in a statement.

Still, health experts advise waiting a few days after exposure to get tested, to help avoid the risk of getting a false negative. 

According to Harvard Medical School, those who take a test the same day after exposure are 100 percent likely to get a false negative test result because there "are so few viral particles in your nose or saliva so soon after infection that the test cannot detect them."

From there, the likelihood of a false negative goes down, with a 40 percent chance if a person is tested four days after exposure to the virus. And it goes down to 20 percent if a person develops "symptoms and are tested three days after those symptoms started." 

Still, the DOJ did not respond to requests for comment about whether Barr is considering or planning to self-isolate out of an abundance of caution after coming into contact with Gohmert.

A spokesperson also did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether Barr will receive additional tests in the coming days.