President Donald Trump refused to wear a mask for the public part of his tour of Ford’s Michigan plant, but told reporters he did wear one for some parts of his visit.
Earlier this week, Michigan’s attorney general wrote an open letter to the president urging him to wear a mask while visiting Ford Motor Company’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a site that has a policy of requiring masks.
When speaking with journalists at the site, Trump stated it was not necessary for him to wear the mask in the media area and said he had worn one earlier.
“I had one on before. I wore one on in this back area. I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he said, adding that he also wore goggles. He proceeded to pull a White House-branded mask out of his pocket, proudly proclaiming that he thinks it suits him quite nicely.
Speaking with the media, the automaker’s executive chairman Bill Ford said Trump was wearing a mask during “a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.” CNBC shared at least one photo of Trump indeed wearing his mask.
In the wake of Trump not wearing a mask for parts of his visit, the United Automobile Workers union released a statement informing its factory workers to continue wearing masks.
“Despite some in the President’s entourage not following health and safety protocols in the plant today, we want to make it clear that the CDC guidelines have not changed and it is vitally important that our members continue to follow the protocols that have been put in place to safeguard them, their families and their communities,” reads the UAW’s statement.