The co-founder of Republican anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project has called congressman Louie Gohmert ”America’s craziest and dumbest congressman”, following confirmation he tested positive for coronavirus.
Steve Schmidt co-founded the Republican political action committee that is aiming to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump, alongside George Conway, the husband of the president’s adviser Kellyanne Conway.
The 50-year-old worked on the political campaigns of former US president George W Bush, former Republican presidential nominee John McCain and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, before setting up the group.
Mr Gohmert tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday during a routine test before he was scheduled to take a trip to Texas with the president, amid a major spike in cases in his home state.
The 66-year-old, who has publicly opposed masks and refused to wear face coverings while walking through Congress, recently said that he would only wear one if he tested positive for coronavirus, according to Newsweek.
On Wednesday, speaking to host Joy Reid of NBC’s The ReidOut, Mr Schmidt said: “When I say he’s America’s dumbest and craziest congressman, I’m serious about that.”
“And he’s not competing in an era where there’s not a lot of other competition. In the era of crazy, right, this is like Ali, Foreman and Frazier, the big time great heavyweights all fighting each other,” Mr Schmidt said referencing some of the country’s greatest ever heavyweight boxers.
“So he’s got a lot of competition in that space, and this is just a person who, when you think about Louie Gohmert, you think about America’s crazy people.”
Throughout the pandemic there has been a number of people who have felt that wearing a face mask goes against their individual liberties, and have refused to abide by executive orders that made them mandatory in numerous states.
Mr Trump refused to wear a mask until July, and his initial attitude was adopted by some supporters of the president, who feel that by not wearing a mask, they are showing their support for him.
My statement about today’s diagnosis: pic.twitter.com/qvf7zIcgdN— Louie Gohmert (@replouiegohmert)July 29, 2020
After it was announced that he had contracted coronavirus, Mr Gohmert published a video statement to twitter, where he said: “The reports of my demise are a great deal premature.
“I don’t have any of the symptoms that are listed as part of Covid-19, but apparently I have the Wuhan virus.”
Mr Trump, alongside other Republicans, has repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as “kung flu,” or “Wuhan virus,” and both phrases have been criticised for blaming the pandemic on a single country and group of people.
The congressman added that he has worn a face mask more in the last couple of weeks then he has in the four months since the pandemic hit the US.
“I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place if I might have put some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in. I don’t know,” he added.
According to Johns Hopkins University some 4.4m people have now tested positive for coronavirus in the US and the death toll has reached 150,765.
The Independent has contacted Mr Gohmert for comment.