“In the meantime, my work schedule and the lives of my employees are disrupted,” said Mr. Grijalva, 72. “This stems from a selfish act by Mr. Gohmert, who is just one member of Congress.”
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 27, 2020
Should I refinance my mortgage?
- It could be a good idea, because mortgage rates have never been lower. Refinancing requests have pushed mortgage applications to some of the highest levels since 2008, so be prepared to get in line. But defaults are also up, so if you’re thinking about buying a home, be aware that some lenders have tightened their standards.
What is school going to look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
- The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
- So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
A spokeswoman for Representative Kay Granger, 77, a fellow Texas Republican who sat beside Mr. Gohmert on Sunday evening on a flight from Texas, said she would quarantine at Dr. Monahan’s direction, “and out of an abundance of caution.” Representative Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, said he would do the same after dining with Mr. Gohmert on Monday. Several Republican staff aides for the natural resources panel also planned to quarantine, a spokesman said.
Lawmakers and Mr. Barr were seated more than six feet apart during his hearing, but reporters spotted a maskless Mr. Gohmert outside the hearing room exchanging words with Mr. Barr, whose face was also uncovered. A Justice Department spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said that the attorney general would be tested on Wednesday.
Mr. Gohmert’s spokeswoman and chief of staff did not respond to requests for comment.
Democrats, in particular, were furious at the news. Mr. Gohmert is among a group of House Republicans, many of whom form the conservative Freedom Caucus, who have frequently refused to wear masks on the House floor and in the halls of the Capitol complex, despite warnings from public health experts and an outbreak in his home state.
“I’m concerned about the irresponsible behavior of many of the Republicans who have chosen to consistently flout well-established public health guidance,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York and a member of the Judiciary Committee. He pleaded with Republicans like Mr. Gohmert to put on masks or go home.
Mr. Hoyer urged him to vote by proxy under new rules pushed through by Democrats to allow lawmakers to skip traveling to Washington during the pandemic and instead deputize a colleague to cast votes on their behalf. Republicans bitterly opposed the chance and have sued in federal court to have it declared unconstitutional.
Mr. Gohmert said he only found out that he had the virus when he went to the White House at 7 a.m. Wednesday and was screened in line with the White House policy of testing anyone who would be near Mr. Trump. Mr. Gohmert tested positive twice.