Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, one of the most obnoxious and ignorant members of Congress, tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday after being repeatedly seen not wearing a mask in contact with others.
And a report from Politico’s Jake Sherman shortly after the news was revealed gave a damning glimpse into the congressman’s reckless and cruel treatment of his own staff. In the newsletter Playbook, Sherman revealed he received the following note after reporting Gohmert had the virus from a member of the lawmaker’s staff:
Jake, thank you for letting our office know Louie tested positive for the Coronavirus. 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.
It’s a searing indictment of the way the lax Republican attitude toward the virus has endangered their own people.
But it gets worse. Katherine Faulders of ABC News reported:
Just want to emphasize — Rep. Gohmert returned to his Capitol Hill office & told staff he wanted to inform them *in person* instead of finding out from news reports. Some staffers were already in the process of leaving as Gohmert came back, I’m told. https://t.co/Aie1K2jPAc
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) July 29, 2020
It shouldn’t need to be said, but it is not necessary — and indeed should be avoided — to inform people in person that you have contracted an airborne virus.
It gets worse still.
Attorney General Bill Barr and Gohmert were seen walking in close proximity just yesterday without masks:
Congressman Gohmert who hates wearing masks just tested positive for #COVID19 — he’s seen here walking behind AG Bill Barr yesterday…. without a mask naturally. Public endangerment is the name of the game for GOP MOCs. pic.twitter.com/YEx46ptp4v
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 29, 2020
And now, it seems, Gohmert is trying to blame masks for the fact that he contracted the virus. To be clear, health experts do not believe that face coverings make it more likely for the wearer to contract the virus, and the evidence indicates it reduces the wearer’s chance of spreading or contracting it. Medical doctors, of course, know this, which is why they frequently wear masks, especially when dealing with COVID-19 patients. But Gohmert spread this dangerous misinformation anyway:
Rep. Louie Gohmert thinks that it’s possible that wearing a mask gave him COVID. pic.twitter.com/kucy119Pcv
— Charlie Gile (@CharlieGileNBC) July 29, 2020
And unfortunately, after Sherman sent out the Playbook newsletter, he revealed that the problem of reckless behavior may extend well beyond Gohmert’s office:
Ever since PM came out, Ive gotten a flood of emails from republican staffers who say they too are being forced to come to the hill without a mask now.
If you’re one of those people, email me or dm me.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 29, 2020