The New York Times has called for all members of Congress to be tested for Coronavirus following the positive diagnosis of Republican Representative Louie Gohmert.
In an editorial entitled “Congress, Test Thyself“, the Times cited Gohmert critically and urged the lawmakers to institute a testing regime in the Capitol.
“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,” the editors wrote.
“Put another way, when a lawmaker behaves like a ‘ding dong,’ as one Republican aide said of Mr. Gohmert, he puts everyone at risk.”
“For one thing, Gohmert’s experience has led to renewed calls by members and staff workers to implement a testing regimen on the Hill. That’s an important next step.”
The editorial comes as more and more reports emerge of anonymous staffers on Capitol Hill complaining about the lack of Covid-19 precautions. Many have said mask-wearing is discouraged.
The newspaper appeared to address these issues directly.
“Congress members are influential figures, and in this time of crisis they ought to be leading by example,” the editors wrote.
“By taking steps to protect themselves, their staff members and their constituents, lawmakers can send a signal about the seriousness of this situation to a confused and weary public.”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media