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Louis Gohmert was questioning Attorney General Bill Barr on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Photo: Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) tested positive for COVID-19 during a pre-screening at the White House on Wednesday, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Gohmert, a fierce defender of President Trump and member of the House Freedom Caucus, has been walking around the Capitol without a mask and attended Tuesday's hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr. The 66-year-old congressman was supposed to travel with Trump to Texas on Wednesday.

  • Gohmert told CNN in June: "I don't have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I've never had it. But if I get it, you'll never see me without a mask."
  • When told that experts have said asymptomatic people can unknowingly spread the virus to others, Gohmert replied: "But I keep being tested and I don't have it. So I'm not afraid of you, but if I get it I'll wear a mask."

Attorney General Bill Barr received a precautionary coronavirus test on Wednesday and tested negative, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.

Go deeper

Nov 5, 2020 - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 new COVID-19 cases for first time

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. reported 103,087 new daily coronavirus infections on Wednesday, setting a single-day record for cases, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

Why it matters: This is the first time the U.S. has reported over 100,000 new cases in a single day — a reminder of the high stakes of the election as votes continue to be tabulated.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Nov 4, 2020 - Health

Air pollution connected to higher COVID-19 death rates

Smokestacks in Florida. Photo: Getty Images

A new study of more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. finds a correlation between higher levels of particulate air pollution and higher death rates from COVID-19.

Why it matters: COVID-19 may be caused by the novel coronavirus, but the outcome of an infection is influenced by everything from age to race to the environment. Understanding the connection between disease and pollution can help us address those risks going forward.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Nov 4, 2020 - World

Italy imposes regional lockdown as coronavirus cases spike

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (c) made the call. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Much of Italy will be placed under a strict lockdown as of Friday in the most drastic steps the country has taken to fight the coronavirus since it led the world into lockdown nearly eight months ago.

The big picture: Italy managed to keep the spread of the virus largely under control for months after a brutal first wave. But like much of Europe, it's currently recording unprecedented daily case counts and scrambling to avoid a return to overcrowded hospitals and climbing death tolls in the coming weeks.

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