President Donald Trump visited a medical equipment distribution center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, and people were quick to point out that he failed once again to wear a face mask despite being surrounded by individuals who chose to do so.
Jordan Fabian, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, posted an image on Twitter of Trump at the Owens & Minor factory, a 137-year-old business that distributes gear such as N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.
Critics in the comments of the post argued that Trump had recently been exposed to an individual who had tested positive for the virus and should be taking precautions to avoid spreading the disease. The federal government recommends wearing masks as part of this effort, as well as entering a self-quarantine.
Others said that it showed a lack of respect for the people he was around as masks are touted as a way to protect others and that he was failing to lead by example.
While in the area, Trump made some remarks that included calls for Gov. Tom Wolf to reopen the state faster, as PennLive reported.
“We have to get your governor of Pennsylvania to start opening up a little bit here,” Trump said. “You have areas of Pennsylvania that are barely affected, and they want to keep them closed. Can’t do that.”
The president also took a few jabs at his familiar targets — the media and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden — before thanking workers at the facility for their efforts. He noted that the people of Allentown were once coal miners and steelworkers that helped build the country and would be the base of manufacturing in the country once again.
“You’re going to be a nation of manufacturers, and Pennsylvania workers will once again, you’re going to lead the way. With your help, we will vanquish the virus. We’ll get our nation back to work, and we will build our glorious future with American hands, and American grit, and American pride.”
Trump, who is not wearing a mask, tours a PPE distribution center in Allentown pic.twitter.com/xSFJ1Bl3eu
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) May 14, 2020
Trump’s unwillingness to wear masks has become a flashpoint in the media and among critics. He has reportedly decided that such a practice sends the wrong message and recently appeared at a Honeywell protective equipment factory in Arizona without wearing a mask, later on drawing criticism.
Meanwhile, after one of his staffers and one of Vice President Mike Pence’s staffers tested positive for the virus, members of the White House have reportedly been directed to wear masks while at work to prevent the disease from spreading further.