Of all the East Texas representatives, Louis Gohmert has to be one of the most obtuse.

The U.S. representative, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday, was denied entry onto Air Force One to accompany the president to Midland and Odessa — well outside his actual district — because two tests showed he was positive for the disease.

He has repeatedly refused to wear a mask on Capitol Hill, including to the hearings of Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday. There is video of him speaking with Barr off to the side, walking down a hallway at a break in the hearings, maskless.

Through some Cirque-du-Soleil-esque kind of logic, he believes he caught the virus from one of the few times when he actually wore a mask. Not from, you know, parading around the Capitol trumpeting his views on masks.

“I can’t help but wonder … if I injected the virus into my mask when I was moving,” he said in an interview with KLTV out of Tyler.

And honestly, that’s not the craziest claim I’ve heard this week.

Many have seen — and unfortunately shared to social media — the viral video featuring Dr. Stella Immanuel claiming that masks aren’t needed and that hydroxychloroquine is a potent treatment for the virus. The doctor also has some, ahem, other even more dubious medical claims.

First off, let’s get this out of the way: Although there are some reports that hydroxychloroquine has helped Covid-19 patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions against its use for such because its study showed the drug causes serious heart issues, blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries and liver problems, up to liver failure, in Covid-19 patients.

As for the doctor, Immanuel has also made claims that alien DNA is used in medical treatments, that scientists are working on a vaccine to prevent people from being religious and that several female reproductive issues stem from “having sex with demons and witches” in their dreams. Immanuel serves as a pastor of her own church here in Texas, and she preaches some really out there claims, including that the Illuminati plan to hatch a witch to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage and children’s toys — the same sermon claimed that the Magic 8-ball is “psychic” and is used to indoctrinate children into witchcraft.

This is all so far out there, it’s the equivalent of wearing underpants on your head and proclaiming yourself the king of Belgium.

But many people are sharing Immanuel’s Covid-19 video, proclaiming it as “proof” that their views on the virus are correct, that they don’t need to wear masks. Heaven forbid they show empathy for other people, the elderly, the immunocompromised, those who have been hit hardest by the virus.

Over the past couple of months, some conservative relatives have posted to social media criticizing the shutdown, saying things like, “Japan didn’t shutdown, and they’re just fine.” Yeah, well, in Japan, it is normalized — well before Covid-19 — to wear a mask when you are sick. They also mostly bow to each other instead of shaking hands. They have much higher connectivity and faster internet than most of the U.S. has, which means it is easier for them to do their jobs remotely.

Gee, it’s almost like social distancing and masks work when used properly, according to actual science.

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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