GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert tests positive for Coronavirus

Instead of flying to his home state of Texas on Air Force One with President Donald Trump, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) was held off the trip after twice testing positive for the Coronavirus in a pre-screening at the White House on Wednesday morning.

In an interview from his Capitol Hill office - where he returned after his positive test results - Gohmert told KETK-TV that the results were a surprise.

"But in the last week or two, I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months," Gohmert said. "It's really ironic."

Gohmert said he was advised by doctors at the White House and U.S. Capitol to self-quarantine for at least 10 days - but instead, he went back to his office, where he told staff members of his diagnosis.

Democrats on Capitol Hill said it was more evidence that both parties need to take seriously the need to wear masks in public.

"I don't know who needs to hear this, but if you're a Member of Congress who refuses to wear a mask on Capitol Hill, you're not only putting your colleagues at risk — you're endangering the staff who works here, including many of my constituents," said Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).

"Wear a damn mask," Wexton tweeted.

In the past, Gohmert has been often been defiant in public about the need to wear a mask, often accusing the news media of hyping concerns about the virus.

This was from a White House meeting in May.

It's not clear where Gohmert contracted the virus, or how long ago.

While the White House gives tests to people who will be in close proximity to President Trump, there is no offical testing regime on Capitol Hill for members of the House or Senate.

Jamie Dupree

Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau