Coronavirus: Republican who refuses to self-isolate despite exposure to disease gives students tour of Capitol

Representative Louie Gohmert is asymptomatic, following 'proper hygiene protocols', and not shaking hands

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 10 March 2020 17:50
Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX), pictured here at during the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump
Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX), pictured here at during the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump

Despite official advice being to self-quarantine for 14 days if you have been exposed to the coronavirus, one Republican congressman has refused to do so and has been spotted giving a tour of the US Capitol to a group of students.

Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas chose not to self-quarantine and follow the example of fellow lawmakers including Senator Ted Cruz, Matt Gaetz, and Doug Collins, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

All were exposed to a New Jersey man who later tested positive for the virus, while they were at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Mr Gaetz and Mr Collins both interacted with President Donald Trump before being informed of their potential exposure.

Mr Gohmert instead returned to work at the Capitol and released a statement explaining his decision, having spoken with a CDC physician: “We discussed all the specific circumstances of which he was aware along with my circumstances, including that I was and am asymptomatic, he said that all things considered I was cleared to return to Washington. He said he would return if he were me and advised that my staff and I should just be careful to observe proper hygiene protocols.”

“I took the advice of the expert and returned to work. No one is panicking and we are observing the recommended precautions,” he added.

While one might assume that “recommended precautions” might include not attending events with large groups of people, Mr Goehmert was spotted leading the tour group around the Capitol on Monday evening.

He did explain to the group that he had no symptoms and would not be shaking hands.

Despite his contact with Mr Gaetz and Mr Collins, the president has not been tested for coronavirus.

White House spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said: “The President has not received COVID-19 testing because he has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms.”

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