After decades of spreading stupidity at a super-human clip, Rep. Louie Gohmert is now doing his best to spread a deadly virus.
The Texas Republican tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to joining President Trump aboard Air Force One for a trip to Texas, where the pandemic is currently wreaking havoc on the state’s residents.
Now, this was an understandably confusing turn of events for Gohmert. He was probably pretty excited to join the president on a trip to his home state, and certainly didn’t expect to test positive for a virus he clearly hadn’t been taking very seriously. Until recently, the 66-year-old congressman steadfastly refused to wear a mask, claiming that he’d wear one only if he tested positive. That changed recently, kind of, and in an interview with a Texas radio station after testing positive on Wednesday, Gohmert called the result “ironic” because “in the last week or two I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months.”
Gohmert found the result so ironic, in fact, that he questioned whether it was a coincidence at all. Maybe, he wondered, it was the act of wearing a mask itself that gave him COVID. After informing his social media followers on Wednesday that though “the reports of my demise” are premature, “apparently I have the Wuhan [sic] virus,” Gohmert expounded on this fresh bit of galaxy-brain hypothesizing.
“It is interesting,” Gohmert said, “and I don’t know about everybody, but when I have a mask on I’m moving it to make it comfortable, and I can’t help but wonder if that put some germs in the mask. Keep your hands off your mask? Anyway, who knows?”
My statement about today's diagnosis: pic.twitter.com/qvf7zIcgdN
— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert) July 29, 2020
Doctors, nurses, and public health experts, Louie. That’s “who knows” — and who have been begging you and everyone else to put a mask on.
A more logical explanation for Louie’s positive test is his cavalier dismissal of that advice — as well as a host of other measures he could have taken to protect himself and those around around him. Though he may have put on a mask a few times in the past few weeks, he hasn’t been wearing one very assiduously. Just yesterday, he was seen outside the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr, sans mask.
Gohmert also appears to be actively preventing his own staff from taking safety precautions. One of his aides even told Politico on Wednesday that Gohmert is so anti-mask that he “berated” his staff members for wearing them, and that, as a big middle finger to the “Wuhan virus,” he required his full staff to be in office. No remote working. That’s how China wins.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 29, 2020
It’s easy to pile on Gohmert for his thick-headed response to the pandemic, but it’s important to remember that this is also the man who claimed jihadists were sending pregnant women to birth “terror babies” in the United States, thought gay marriage could pave the way for people to marry animals, and, more recently, claimed the coronavirus could be cured with a mysterious disinfectant powered that could be inhaled as a mist. Blaming his mask for his positive COVID test result probably doesn’t even crack the top five dumbest things he’s said since he joined Congress in 2005.
Gohmert won his 2018 race by 46 percentage points and appears a lock to win again in November.