US Congressman Louie Gohmert tests COVID-19 positive

US Congressman Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican who has been walking around the Washington Capitol without a mask, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

A 66-year-old was scheduled to fly to Texas with President Donald Trump Wednesday morning, but tested positive in a pre-screen at the White House, Politico news said in a report

He was reportedly not allowed on Trump’s plane.

The news came a day after Gohmert, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, attended a hearing in person without wearing a mask with Attorney General William Barr, along with other lawmakers who were seated at some distance from one another.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said that Barr, 70, will also be tested for coronavirus.

In a CNN interview last month, Gohmert, the eighth-term Republican, had said that he was not wearing a mask because he was being tested regularly for the coronavirus.

The other Republican Congressmen who have tested positive for COVID-19 include Mario Diaz Balart, Neal Dunn, Morgan Griffith, Mike Kelly, Tom Rice and Senator Rand Paul.

This week, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien became the highest-ranking official close to President Trump to test positive for the virus.

Trump and anyone, including journalists covering the White House, are routinely tested for COVID-19.

Trump’s valet — the equivalent to a personal butler — had tested positive for COVID-19 in May. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were immediately tested and found to be negative.

Around the same time, Anthony Fauci, the leading US authority on the pandemic, and two other members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force went into quarantine after having come into contact with some persons infected with the disease.

Closer to Trump’s family, Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Trump’s son, had tested positive earlier this month. Trump Jr did not test positive.

Pence’s Press Secretary Katie Miller, who is married to Trump’s Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, was found to be infected with the coronavirus in May.