While the CDC has recommended everyone wear face coverings, Donald Trump has refused to wear one in public. He reportedly told advisers it would “send the wrong message” and that he would look “ridiculous.” Now, at least one state official challenged him. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel penned a letter to the president ahead of his visit at a Michigan auto plant today saying:
“While my Department will not act to prevent you from touring Ford’s plant, I ask that while you are on tour you respect the great efforts of the men and women at Ford — and across this State — by wearing a facial covering. It is not just the policy of Ford, by virtue of the Governor’s Executive Orders. It is currently the law of this State.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is calling on President Trump to wear a mask ahead of his visit to a Ford plant in the state today.
“If he fails to wear a mask, he’s going to be asked not to return to any enclosed facility inside our state.”https://t.co/wyAml2qQcy pic.twitter.com/2zbtit3mCd
— New Day (@NewDay) May 21, 2020
But Trump obviously didn’t take Nessel’s words seriously. He appeared on camera for a long period of time, during the visit, without a mask.
REPORTER: Can you explain why you decided not to wear a mask?
TRUMP: “Well I did wear — I had one on before. I wore one in this back area. But I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
R: But the executives are wearing them.
TRUMP: “That’s their choice.” pic.twitter.com/WuNFNrYkxm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 21, 2020
Trump is not wear a mask as he tours a Michigan Ford plant. He claims he wore a mask when the press couldn't see, but there's no evidence that's the case. Ford officials are all wearing masks. @MSNBC
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 21, 2020
After learning Trump didn’t wear a mask Nessel said: “Trump refused to wear a face mask during his tour of the Ford plant in Ypsilanti today, despite numerous requests that he do so. Trump does not care about the safety of Michiganders.” She added, “this sends the worst possible message.”
Nessel, a Democrat, earlier said she expected Ford to enforce the policy or face legal consequences, “I think we’re going to take action against any company or any facility that allows him inside those facilities and puts our workers at risk. We simply can’t afford it here in our state.”
The Associated Press reported that “Ford said its policy requires everyone in factories to wear personal protective equipment, including masks, and that policy had been shared with the White House.”
And Ford has a reason to play it safe. On Wednesday, Reuters noted:
Ford Motor Co on Wednesday closed two U.S. assembly plants as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked early havoc with the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s plan to restart North American production and begin making its most profitable vehicles again.
Ford closed its Dearborn, Michigan, plant due to a positive COVID-19 test by one worker, while its Chicago assembly plant was closed due to a parts shortage, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.
Trump not wearing a mask is not a sign of toughness. It’s a sign of vanity. It’s a sign he thinks he’s better and more important than everyone else. And it is this ignorance, selfishness, and anti-science attitude that brought preventable mass death to America.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 21, 2020