At a tour of a Ford’s Rawsonville facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, president Trump was photographed not wearing a face mask, in contravention of Ford’s safety measures put in place to protect workers. The plant has been repurposed to build respirators crucial in the fight save lives of those with respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
Trump did not wear a mask despite having one in his hand that, according to Ford, he wore while looking at three Ford GTs from throughout history, away from media.
When asked why he didn’t wear the mask, Trump replied that he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
In a prepared speech, Trump called out to a Ford electrician, Keith Pastorino, to speak about his reasons for risking his safety to make respirators.
“When I first heard the news that my plant was going to be building ventilators, it only took me a minute to get hold of my UAW, and then I decided that this was my opportunity to serve my country,” said Pastorino. “On the first day as a volunteer, we went full speed seven days a week, 12 hours a shift.”
Despite that sacrifice, Trump decided that his image was more important than the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus to others in the factory. Already this week, since reopening on Monday, two plants have reportedly had to shut down again as a result of workers testing positive for COVID-19. That despite new safety measures that require masks and physical distancing and no contact with a group of people who are touring the country refusing to wear masks.
Ford shared its safety protocols with Trump’s team, which the team declined to follow. The move follows a previous incident in which Vice President Pence failed to wear a mask during a hospital tour at the Mayo Clinic. Pence initially claimed he had not been briefed on the need for a mask despite being one of the highest placed people in the country entrusted with the fight against COVID-19, being at an event designed to demonstrate his mastery of the fight against COVID-19, being surrounded by people wearing masks, and in ignorance of all common sense.
Trump’s ignorance of the will of the people he was visiting, who through their union fought for later restart dates and increased safety measures, appears to be in an attempt to appease a vocal minority of people angry at the shut downs who are supported and organized by wealthy Republican mega donors, according to the Washington Post.