House Natural Resources Chair Rep. Raul Grijalva announced Saturday he tested positive for Covid-19, days after chairing a hearing in which Rep. Louie Gohmert participated at length.
Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who has represented a Tuscon-area seat since 2003, is 73 and a heavy smoker. He said in a statement he is without symptoms and in quarantine.
“While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously,” he said in a statement. “Stopping the spread of a deadly virus should not be a partisan issue.”
The Arizona Democrat announced he would enter quarantine earlier this week, shortly after Gohmert (R-Texas) revealed his positive test on Wednesday.
Both men sat close together during a Tuesday hearing on the aggressive clearing of Black Lives Matter protestors from Lafayette Park on June 1. Gohmert had two rounds of questions at the session, notably asking whether a major in the D.C. National Guard who testified that he witnessed “deeply disturbing” events only appeared for political reasons.
Gohmert wore a mask during that hearing except while questioning the witnesses, as mandated by committee rules, despite frequently refusing to do so while on Capitol Hill.
Separately on Saturday, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who served as the top Republican at the hearing, said he had been cleared to leave quarantine. He said he had three “brief interactions” with Gohmert but “the Attending Physician believes those encounters did not meet the standard of risk to merit a quarantine.”