2020-05-05 22:47:24 UTC
...then praises workers for their efforts - all of whom have their faces covered
*President Donald Trump ignored signs requiring a mask be worn when he toured a
mask factory in Arizona and only wore safety googles on his eyes
*'Attention, face mask is required in this area,' read the sign in the portion
of the Honeywell factory President Trump toured
*The Honeywell factory he's visiting was converted to make N95 masks
*A White House official said factory officials said mask was not necessary
*President Trump said he 'might' wear one during his visit
*'If it's a mask facility I will, yeah,' he said as he left the White House
*Trump has never been pictured in public wearing a face mask
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.
But President Trump did not wear one as he observed workers. A White House
official said that the facility said officials were not required to wear masks
but to take all precautions.
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.
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
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
'If it's a mask facility I will, yeah. I don't know if it's a mask facility,' he
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
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.