Without wearing a face-covering himself, President Donald Trump toured a new medical mask factory in Arizona on Tuesday, taking a rare trip out of Washington to visit a state he hopes to win in the November election even as Americans avoid travel to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump visited a Honeywell International Inc factory making N95 face masks for healthcare workers. The facility was rushed into service in less than five weeks because of a shortage of protective equipment and is producing face masks for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A popular Guns N Roses song played in the background during his visit.
The president wore safety goggles during the factory tour but did not wear a mask, even though production workers at the facility did and a sign was visible that read: “Attention: Face Mask Required in this Area. Thank You!”
Honeywell Chief Executive Officer Darius Adamczyk, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and some other visiting dignitaries also did not wear masks. Trump told reporters as he left the White House earlier on Tuesday that he would likely wear a mask at the facility. The federal government has encouraged Americans since early April to wear masks to avoid spreading the virus even when not feeling any symptoms of COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease it causes. Trump has so far declined to wear a mask himself. Vice President Mike Pence said on Sunday he erred in not wearing a face mask to the Mayo Clinic last month. His decision not to wear the mask had drawn widespread criticism. The White House did not immediately respond to a query on why Trump did not wear a face mask at the Honeywell plant. Trump has sought to give an optimistic view about the country’s ability to recover from the virus and is eager for states to reopen businesses whose lockdown closings have crushed the economy and left millions unemployed. The virus is known to have infected more than 1.2 million people in the United States, including at least 70,000 who have died, according to a Reuters tally. Asked if he would receive a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one is developed, Trump said he would but also might decide not to if that were deemed better for the country. “If there’s a vaccine and they wanted me to be first in line, I’d be first in line or I’d be last in line, or I wouldn’t take it at all, whatever’s best for the country,” Trump said. Trump's mask-less visit, however, went viral on social media with many slamming the President for not following safety protocol.
They blasted “Live and Let Die” while Trump walked around a Honeywell plant today in Arizona without a mask. It’s hard to believe this clip is real. pic.twitter.com/M1dMe8KaMK — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 5, 2020
Trump tours a MASK factory in Arizona without wearing a mask where it is compulsory. He is so vain, thinking goggles are enough. “Attention, face mask is required in this area,' read the sign in the portion of the Honeywell factory” where he toured. His yak hair wig, though. pic.twitter.com/SxcT7zDo3b — Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) May 5, 2020
Trump & co touring a mask factory without masks to do nothing but place their bare hands and spittle on a freshly manufactured batch sums up the idiocy of this entire era. pic.twitter.com/PpLk4SooBH — Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) May 6, 2020
President Trump is in a mask factory, not wearing a mask pic.twitter.com/jtBmyKJPCa — Zach Purser Brown (@zachjourno) May 5, 2020
He's wearing goggles but not a mask. I can't stop laughing at this. I'm sorry. — Rosebud (@iam_fernando) May 6, 2020
so obnoxious to see that none of these people were wearing masks nor maintaining social distance. Abject failure of leadership all the way around. ☠️☠️ — StephanieJayne (@powerspoint) May 6, 2020
Why does Donald Trump REFUSE to wear a face mask — even when he visits factories and medical facilities where masks are MANDATED? — Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) May 6, 2020
Others also commented on the popular song 'Live or Let Die' by the US band Guns n' Roses that was playing in the background during his visit, claiming it was apt for the occasion.
Whoever played Live And Let Die whilst Trump was visiting a mask factory today is a twisted genius pic.twitter.com/NZqggBXeMp — Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) May 5, 2020
(With inputs from Reuters)