Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert has no plans to slow the spread of the coronavirus personally by wearing a mask, even as infection rates reach catastrophic levels in his home state.
Gohmert, who is 66-years-old, regularly attends sessions on the House floor sans-mask. The lawmaker told CNN on Friday that he has no intention of wearing one unless he contracts the deadly virus, despite the fact that health experts and even fellow Republicans are urging Americans to wear masks in public to combat the spread.
“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,” he said.
When asked about concerns about asymptomatic spread, Gohmert dug his heels in: “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.”
The remarks follow moves by the governor of Texas this week to pause the state’s reopening as COVID-19 cases reach record highs — nearly every day this week the state saw more than 5,000 new infections.