Trump visited Michigan to tour a Ford parts manufacturing facility that has converted to making ventilators to help in the fight against COVID-19. Prior to his visit, Ford advised the president that he would need to wear a mask while touring the facility in accordance with their company policy.
While they later retracted the statement, Nessel asked the president to wear a mask and stated any company that failed to enforce the state’s mask requirement could face legal ramifications.
Trump later appeared before cameras in the Ford factory without a mask, though he appears to have worn one when he wasn’t in front of reporters.
After he was seen without a face covering, Nessel criticized him, saying he put people at risk by refusing to don personal protective equipment (PPE).
Late Thursday, he shot back at the attorney general in a series of tweets.
“The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask,” he wrote. “Not their fault, & I did put on a mask. No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!”
Shortly after, he posted a second message largely repeating what he had said in the first.
“Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor – they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have – until I came along and brought business back to Michigan. JOBS!” he wrote in a second tweet.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2020
Public health experts have cautioned that wearing a facial covering is one of the best ways to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. People such as Trump, who have recently been exposed to individuals who have tested positive for the disease, are encouraged even more to wear PPE.
While the president didn’t wear a mask in front of the cameras, leaked photos show him apparently wearing a dark blue facial covering with a government seal on it while behind-the-scenes. Trump has said that he doesn’t want to give the press the “pleasure” of seeing him in a mask.
Those photos are the first time Trump has been seen with a mask on. He has been famously reluctant to wear one throughout the pandemic.