President Donald Trump has opted not to wear a face mask for several recent factory tours, prompting criticism from the press, political pundits, and health experts. But for his upcoming tour of the Ford Motor Co. factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan, he'll need to don facial covering, the auto manufacturer says.
Ford issued a statement saying that all people touring the facility will need to wear personal protective equipment in accordance with the company's policy. This was put in place for the safety of employees to protect them from the spread of the coronavirus, as Crain's reports.
"Our policy is that everyone wears PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19," spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said. "We shared all of Ford's safety protocols, including our manufacturing playbook, employee pamphlet and self-assessment survey with the White House ahead of time and in preparation for this trip."
Trump went without personal protective equipment while touring the Owens & Minor medical distribution factory in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last week. A week prior to that, he didn't wear a mask at the Honeywell facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Both events prompted some backlash from people who said that he was setting a bad example and putting other individuals at risk.
"I had a mask on for a period of time," Trump said, according to Reuters.
"I can't help it if you didn't see me. I mean, I had a mask on, but I didn't need it. And I asked specifically the head of Honeywell: 'Should I wear a mask?' And he said, "Well, you don't need one.'"When pressed on how long he had worn the mask before removing it, the president said that he hadn't worn it for a great length of time.
"Not too long, but I had it on. I had it on... backstage. But they said you didn't need it," he said.Critics say that Trump refuses to wear a mask because it sends "the wrong message." Allegedly, he believes that doing so could hurt his chances of winning re-election in November, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Apparently, the president believes that images of him wearing a mask could be used against him in campaign ads and that it could make people think that he is worrying more about the virus and getting sick than restarting the economy in the United States.
Trump is slated to visit the 64-year-old auto parts manufacturer on Thursday as part of his ongoing tour of PPE factories.