Republican Congressman Gohmert Tests Positive for COVID-19

Anna Moneymaker-Pool  Getty Images

Anna Moneymaker-Pool Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a new rule that lawmakers and staff will be required to wear a mask while in the hall of the lower chamber, warning that anyone who refuses to do so could be booted out by the Sergeant at Arms. Some GOP members still opted not to wear masks on the House floor earlier on Wednesday before Pelosi's announcement.

Gohmert told CNN in June he wouldn't wear a face mask unless he caught the virus. To reiterate, the chair views the failure to wear a mask as a serious breach of decorum.

She said she expects everyone to "adhere to this requirement as a sign of respect for the health, safety and well-being of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas".

The staffers, who spoke on condition of anonymity with Politico, said they were also ridiculed for wearing a mask at work.

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During Tuesday's hearing, Committee Chairman Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, scolded several Republicans, including ranking member Jim Jordan, for failing to wear masks. "While mask use isn't banned, it's also not encouraged, and has been derided on several occasions by the [chief of staff] and the member".

Many of those lawmakers who didn't consistently wear masks represent states that are now coronavirus hot spots, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.

"Louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that we could be an example to America on how to open up safely", they wrote in the email.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that all "valid" scientific data shows the drug's an ineffective treatment for the virus.

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Lawmakers and Barr were seated more than 6 feet apart during his hearing, but reporters spotted a maskless Gohmert outside the hearing room exchanging words with Barr, whose face was also uncovered. His result came before he was supposed to accompany President Donald Trump on his tour to Texas.

However, what's really troubling here is that - as he confirmed by sharing the interview on his Twitter page - he is asymptomatic, and yet advocating that people should only wear a mask to protect others when you test positive, despite himself being someone with direct experience of being a potential asymptomatic spreader. Members will be able to temporarily remove them while speaking, however.

Multiple GOP senators said Wednesday they were pushing McConnell to allow expanded testing.

That decision has rankled some of their colleagues, including Blunt and Sen.

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Several senators said they were pushing for more regular testing in the Capitol, as there is now no testing program or requirements. Still, he said McConnell and the Capitol physician would have to be on board for that to happen, and he doesn't know why they aren't. "I am very glad the Speaker did what she did". Associated Press contributed to the report.

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