Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, has tested positive for COVID-19.
"It's really ironic, because, you know, a lot of people have made a big deal out of my not wearing a mask a whole lot", Gohmert told KETK. He had been scheduled to fly aboard Air Force One with President Donald Trump to Midland, Texas, where he is fundraising and touring an oil rig.
Several other members of Congress also have tested positive or have been presumed to have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent months, including Reps. Some are sequestering in their offices until they can get tested.
He also disputed a Politico report that staffers said he "berated" them for wearing masks in his office.
Summer Lin is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter.
"I do want to advise our media friends before they write stories about how we didn't wear masks and we didn't possibly socially distance adequately, that you saw to it that we had tests, and that nobody in here had the coronavirus unless it's somebody in the media", Gohmert said at the time.
"My doctor and I are all in", Gohmert said when asked if he had considered taking the hydroxychloroquine during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Wednesday night. "I've regularly instructed all members to wear their masks and hope this is a lesson by all my colleagues".
Gohmert was on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a hearing with U.S. Attorney General William Barr. During a House Judiciary Committee hearing following the diagnosis, another Republican congressman, Jim Jordan of OH, objected to Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) about his inability to get a unanimous consent request passed in order to speak longer about an issue. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Mike Johnson of Louisiana.
Gohmert, a staunch anti-masker, suggested earlier Wednesday that he may have contracted the virus because he began wearing a face covering more often in the last few weeks. One of the hearings was with Attorney General Willam Barr, who immediately took a test that came back negative, according to a Justice Department spokeswoman.
In another hearing Wednesday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren interjected to remind members who are physically present that they are required to wear a mask.
Mr Gohmert, 66, said he was asymptomatic and downplayed his diagnosis.
Smiling in a video recorded in his Capitol Hill office, he declared he had probably gotten the "Wuhan virus" because he had started wearing a mask over the past week or two - not despite it.
The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 and withdrew its emergency use authorization for the drug after several studies showed it's not effective against the coronavirus and might cause more harm than good. "When individuals refuse to take the necessary precautions it puts everyone at risk".
Multiple GOP senators said Wednesday they were pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to allow expanded testing. Everybody who comes into contact with the president is tested.