President Donald Trump ignored signs requiring a mask be worn when he toured a mask factory in Arizona on Tuesday afternoon and only wore safety googles to protect his eyes even as he was surrounded by workers in face coverings.
‘Attention, face mask is required in this area,’ read the sign in the portion of the factory President Trump toured. ‘Please wear your mask at all times,’ was one of the safety guidelines on a sign near the factory’s entrance.
The president was non-committal about wearing a mask before he left on his trip, telling reporters at the White House that he might ‘wear’ one.
But he did not.
A sign in the portion of the factory President Trump toured read face masks were required
President Trump was surrounded by workers wearing masks during the tour
The Honeywall factory the president toured was converted to making N95 masks
The president, making his first trip out of Washington in three weeks, toured an Arizona factory that was expanded to make N95 masks in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
During the tour, given by Honeywell International Inc. CEO Darius Adamczyk and Honeywell International Inc. Vice President Tony Stallings, the president was surrounded by workers wearing face coverings as they produced masks to be sent to health care workers on the frontline of the pandemic.
‘I just want to thank all the people at this incredible company, this incredible plant,’ Trump told workers after his tour. ‘This pandemic has underscored the vital importance of restoring our supply chains and constructing a powerful domestic manufacturing base.’
President Trump has never been photographed wearing a face mask and has shown reluctance to do so even as he acknowledges the recommendation of the CDC to wear one when proper social distancing cannot be enforced.
Before he left for Arizona, he said he’d wear a mask if it was a ‘mask facility.’
‘If it’s a mask facility I will, yeah. I don’t know if it’s a mask facility,’ he added.
A sign near the entrance of the Honeywell factory asks people to wear face masks
Arizona Senator Martha McSally (right) listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a tour of a Honeywell International plant; the senator and factory workers wore masks
President Trump praised factory workers after his tour and thanked them for their work
President Donald Trump said he ‘might’ wear a mask during his visit to an Arizona factory that expanded to make N95 masks in response to the coronavirus epidemic
A group of Arizona lawmakers traveling with Trump – Senator Martha McSally and Reps. Debbie Lesko and Paul Gosar – took a selfie before boarding Air Force One and did not social distance in photo
Honeywell started making masks at the end of April due to concerns about a shortage of facial coverings. The company said it can make 10 million of the masks per month.
Arizona remains under a modified stay-at-home order until May 15. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey allowed some stores to reopen Monday voluntarily as part of the administration’s push to get the country reopen. The state has seen almost 9,000 infections and more than 350 deaths.
Trump’s trip had additional security concerns – how to stop anyone from getting infected from the coronavirus when the group travels together in the tight quarters of Air Force One and the cars in the presidential motorcade.
Three Arizona Republican lawmakers traveled to the state with Trump. Senator Martha McSally tweeted a photo of them in front of Air Force One preparing to board and ignoring social distancing guidelines.
‘Headed to Arizona on Air Force One soon,’ she wrote, adding a selfie that showed Rep. Paul Gosar and Rep. Debbie Lesko in tight approximation with her.
President Trump said everyone traveling with him on the plane was tested for the coronavirus. The White House has ordered anyone meeting with the president to undergo a coronavirus test first. Factory workers at Honeywell were also reported to have been tested for the virus.
‘Everybody traveling has been tested,’ Trump said at the White House before he departed. ‘Literally they have been tested over the last hour and the test results come back in 5 minutes. We have great testing or they wouldn’t be allowed to travel with me. It’s not my choice, it’s a very strong group of people that want to make sure that they are tested, including Secret Service. They’re all tested – everyone traveling on the plane.’
Gosar spent two weeks in March in self-quarantine out of concerns he came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus while attending CPAC.
The dentist-turned-congressman closed his offices and wrote he’d rather die ‘gloriously in battle’ than from the coronavirus.
‘Been thinking about life and mortality today,’ Gosar tweeted at the time. ‘I’d rather die gloriously in battle than from a virus. In a way it doesn’t matter. But it kinda does.’
Trump has been noncommittal about mask wearing after Vice President Mike Pence was criticized for not wearing one during a visit to the Mayo Clinic last week, flouting hospital policy to wear a face covering. Pence later said he should have worn one.
‘I will know when I get there. If it’s a masked environment I would have no problem,’ the president told reporters on Air Force One as they prepared to go to Arizona.
The president’s last trip to Arizona was on February 19, when he held a campaign rally in Phoenix. The state is crucial to his re-election.
A poll out last month showed Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden up nine points in Arizona, which tends to trend red. The poll was a troubling sign for Trump as Arizona hasn’t gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996.
The president has shown his restlessness.
‘I’ve been at the White House now for many months, and I’d like to get out,’ Trump said last week.
As the coronavirus crisis was becoming more serious at the beginning of March, the president spent the weekend away at his Mar-a-Lago resort and then stopped in Orlando to host fundraisers before returning to the White House on March 9.
President Trump has never been pictured in public wearing a face mask
Vice President Mike Pence was criticized for not wearing a face mask during his trip to the Mayo Clinic last week; he later said he should have worn a mask
He’s essentially been there since.
The president took a day trip to Norfolk, Virginia on March 28 to see the USNS Comfort depart for New York City.
This past weekend, Trump flew off the Camp David before returning Sunday.
He then participated in a Fox News Channel town hall at the nearby Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Credit — dailymail.co.uk