Most of the 535 members of the House of Representatives have taken the Covid-19 pandemic very seriously. Certain members, however, have not made much of an effort to protect their colleagues. It isn’t unusual to see some Republicans not wearing masks in committee meetings or walking through hallways.One of these Republicans, Texas’ Louie Gohmert, tested positive for the virus. The Texas lawmaker received his diagnosis shortly before boarding a plane with the President. The New York Times editorial board is now pointing to the Gohmert situation as a reason to test every member of the House.
The paper notes that at least 14 members are thought to have contracted the virus.
According to the Times, there are still plenty of lawmakers flouting the rules:
“From maintenance workers to legislative aides, employees came forward with anonymous accounts of how the patchwork of precautions — each lawmaker’s office operates with its own rules — and cavalier behavior by some members was endangering the thousands of people who keep the Capitol complex running.”
Following Gohmert’s positive test, Nancy Pelosi ordered that all lawmakers wear masks while appearing at hearings. The Times says that is a nice start, but not quite enough.
🙏🏽‘My father ignored medical expertise and now he has COVID,’ Rep. Louie Gohmert’s daughter says https://t.co/MYAC3nf5zH
— Holly Robinson Peete 💃🏾♍️ (@hollyrpeete) August 3, 2020
The editorial board continues, “Elected officials have a particular responsibility both to model responsible behavior during this pandemic and to take extra precautions so they don’t become super spreaders. Put another way, when a lawmaker behaves like a ‘ding dong,’ as one Republican aide said of Mr. Gohmert, he puts everyone at risk.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.