On Thursday during a tour of a Ford factory in Michigan, Donald Trump was photographed wearing a face mask with the presidential seal on it.
Trump went without a mask for the majority of the tour and putting the mask on appeared to be a photo op. The photo was first published in the Detroit Free Press. Trump wore the mask while speaking with Ford Company executive chairman Bill Ford Jr.
It is the first image of Trump wearing a face mask in public. The plant that Trump toured produces ventilators and other critical medical equipment for frontline healthcare workers combatting the coronavirus pandemic.
After the tour, Trump stopped briefly to speak to reporters without a mask. One reporter asked Trump why he wasn’t wearing a face-covering publicly. Trump stated that he wore a mask briefly in the “back area,” but added that he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
Trump also stated that he was told prior to the tour by company officials that a mask was not necessary during the tour. Earlier in the day Trump also did not wear a mask during a meeting with African American leaders at the Ypsilanti, Mich., plant.
Ford told the media that as soon as Trump arrived at the factory the company chairman encouraged him to wear a mask before entering the factory. Trump declined.
“He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. After the viewing, Trump immediately removed the mask.
Ford’s policy requires everyone to wear personal protective equipment in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump has repeatedly declined to wear a face mask in public settings despite CDC guidelines.
The White House continues to argue that because Trump is tested regularly and is not positive for the virus there is no need for him to wear a mask.