Louie Gohmert Wonders If He Got COVID-19 From His Face Mask

Representative Louie Gohmert suggested that wearing a face covering may have somehow led to him becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, despite repeated refusals to wear a mask.

In a clip posted to social media by NBC News producer Charlie Gile, the Texas Republican is heard arguing that COVID-19 may have somehow got trapped in his mask and led to him becoming infected with the disease.

The congressman also said predictions of his demise after following news of his asymptomatic coronavirus diagnosis were "very premature."

Speaking to the KETK local news station, Gohmert said: "I can't help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place if I might have put some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in. I don't know.

"But I got it, we'll see what happens from here. The reports of my demise are very premature."

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

The Texas representative said in June that he would only wear a mask when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 after CNN asked why he had not been wearing one on the House floor.

"I keep being tested and I don't have it," he told the network at the time. "So I'm not afraid of you, but if I get it I'll wear a mask."

Footage posted by The Hill reporter Olivia Beavers on Wednesday showed Rep. Gohmert walking into Attorney General William Barr's House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday without wearing a mask. He was close to the administration official at the time.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that face masks be worn by everyone in public, stressing that wearing a face covering can prevent a person from spreading COVID-19 to others around them.

"Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others," the CDC says. "Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants)."

Gohmert was diagnosed with COVID-19 after testing positive in a White House screening test ahead of a scheduled flight to Texas on Wednesday morning.

Spreaking to Fox News about his diagnosis, the representative said he planned to treat it with hydroxychloroquine, despite the World Heath Organization and CDC refuting that the anti-malaria drug or any other drug is a known cure for the disease.

"I got a text just before I came on [Fox News] from a friend doctor who just found out he had it, and he started the regimen too—zinc, azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine. And that will start in a day or two, so thank you," Gohmert said.

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Gohmert's office for comment and will update this article with any response.

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert
Rep. Louie Gohmert adjusts his face mask during a House Judiciary Committee markup on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images