Jul 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Gohmert suggests without evidence that wearing mask contributed to contracting coronavirus

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Wednesday released a video statement about his coronavirus diagnosis, suggesting without evidence that wearing a mask may have contributed to testing positive.

The big picture: The congressman, who has largely been resistant to wearing a mask around Capitol Hill, said that he "can't help but wonder" if adjusting his mask "put some germs in" it. While the CDC has said it is possible that coronavirus can be transmitted after touching an infected surface, it "is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."

  • In fact, virologists have said that "direct contact with people has the highest likelihood of getting infected" — especially those who are asymptomatic, like Gohmert.

The state of play: Gohmert went back to his office at the Rayburn House Office Building to inform his staff in person that he had been infected, per Politico.

  • His office practices were also sharply criticized by an unnamed aide in an email to Politico's Jake Sherman, who first broke the story about his diagnosis.
  • "When you write your story, can you include the fact that 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.' When probing the office, you might want to ask how often were people berated for wearing masks," the aide said.
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