Trump claims he did wear a face mask backstage at Arizona factory

Donald Trump claims he did wear a face mask backstage at Arizona factory but was told he didn’t need one for plant tour and it’s not his fault that the press didn’t see it

  • President Donald Trump claimed he did wear a mask backstage when he visited a factory in Arizona that makes the face coverings 
  • He said he was told he didn’t need one for the plant tour
  • ‘I had a mask on for a period of time. I had a mask but I didn’t need it,’ he said  
  • ‘I can’t help it if you didn’t see it,’ he told the press
  • Trump only wore safety goggles on his eyes during the tour Tuesday
  • ‘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
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed he did wear a mask behind the scenes when he visited a factory in Arizona that makes the face coverings, but asserted he was told he didn’t need to don one during the plant tour. 

He added it wasn’t his fault the press didn’t see him wear it but admitted it wasn’t on ‘too long.’

‘I had a mask on for a period of time. I had a mask but I didn’t need it,’ he said during an event in the Oval Office, adding that he was standing at such a distance that a mask was not required. 

‘I can’t help it if you didn’t see it,’ he told the press.

President Donald Trump claimed he did wear a mask backstage when he visited a factory in Arizona that makes the face coverings

‘I had a mask on for a period of time. I had a mask but I didn’t need it. I can’t help it if you didn’t see it,’ Trump said while holding an event in the Oval Office Wednesday with nurses for World Nurses Day, where no one wore masks or socially distanced

During a Tuesday tour of Arizona’s Honeywell factory, where they make N95 masks, Trump wore poorly-fitting safety goggles, but said he was told he did not have to wear a mask because he was far away from everyone else

Trump was seen and pictured wearing safety googles during his tour of the Honeywell factory on Tuesday but not a face mask, despite signs posted requiring people to wear the coverings. He said he asked a Honeywell official if he should wear one and was told no. 

‘He said, you don’t need one. We were far away from the people making the masks. They were making the mask,’ Trump said.

He said he wore a mask made in the Honeywell factory. 

‘But I did put a mask on and it was a Honeywell mask, actually,’ he added. ‘I don’t know if you saw it or not, but I had it on.’

He said he didn’t wear it long but ‘had it on backstage.’  

Factory workers did wear masks but the officials giving President Trump the tour did not wear one. President Trump said he saw the factory workers wearing the face coverings, but insisted ‘the workers had them because they are working next to each other.’ 

The president made his remarks during an event in the Oval Office with nurses to mark World Nurses Day. Neither he nor the nurses nor White House officials wore face masks during the event and they did not observe social distancing practices.

‘I can’t help that. Look, I’m trying to be nice and signing a bill and you criticize us,’ President Trump said when asked about it. He signed a proclamation in honor of World Nurses Day.

The nurses were tested for the coronavirus before their meeting with Trump – the White House requires anyone meeting with the president to be tested – and said their results were negative. 

‘We wouldn’t do anything to harm our president,’ one of the nurses said. ‘We are all tested and we are all negative and that’s why we are not socially distancing and why we are not wearing masks.’

Trump only wore safety goggles to protect his eyes on Tuesday’s Honeywell factory visit and not a face mask – despite signs saying such coverings should be worn and as he was surrounded by workers in face masks. 

‘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.  

President Trump was surrounded by workers wearing masks during the tour

A sign in the portion of the factory President Trump toured required masks be worn, claiming ‘protective equipment is mandatory’

The Honeywall factory the president toured was converted to making N95 masks

The tour came before he sat down with ABC News’ David Muir for an interview in which the president said as states reopen: ‘There’ll be more death, than the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine’.

Over the course of the interview, the president suggested that there would be ‘more death’ due to the coronavirus pandemic, as states begin the process of allowing businesses to reopen. 

‘It’s possible there will be some because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is,’ the president said. ‘But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing, we’re going to be washing hands, we’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.’

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 coronavirus epidemic.

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 facility.’

‘If it’s a mask facility I will, yeah. I don’t know if it’s a mask facility,’ he added.  

A sign near the entrance of the Honeywell factory asks people to wear face masks

Arizona Senator Martha McSally (right) listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a tour of a Honeywell International plant; the senator and factory workers wore masks

President Trump praised factory workers after his tour and thanked them for their work

President Donald Trump said he ‘might’ wear a mask during his visit to an Arizona factory that expanded to make N95 masks in response to the coronavirus epidemic

A group of Arizona lawmakers traveling with Trump – Senator Martha McSally and Reps. Debbie Lesko and Paul Gosar – took a selfie before boarding Air Force One and did not social distance in photo

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 to Arizona. 

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. 

President Trump has never been pictured in public wearing a face mask

Vice President Mike Pence was criticized for not wearing a face mask during his trip to the Mayo Clinic last week; he later said he should have worn a mask

He’s essentially been there since. 

The president took a day trip to Norfolk, Virginia on March 28 to see the USNS Comfort depart for New York City. 

This past weekend, Trump flew off the Camp David before returning Sunday. 

He then participated in a Fox News Channel town hall at the nearby Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

Trump admits there will be ‘more deaths’ as states start to reopen and US fatalities hit 70,000, believes coronavirus ‘will pass with or without a vaccine’ and predicts the economy will be ‘raging’ next year

President Trump had a message for the families of the 70,000-plus Americans who are now dead from COVID-19. 

‘I want to say I love you,’ he told ABC News’ David Muir in an interview that was broadcast Tuesday night. ‘And to the people that have lost somebody, there’s nobody – I don’t sleep at nights thinking about it – there’s nobody that’s taken it harder than me.’ 

Over the course of the interview, the president suggested that there would be ‘more death’ due to the coronavirus pandemic, as states begin the process of allowing businesses to reopen. 

President Donald Trump and ABC News’ David Muir practice social distancing during an interview on Tuesday night

Trump said in the ABC interview that ‘we can’t sit in the house for the next three years’

‘It’s possible there will be some because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is,’ the president said. ‘But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing, we’re going to be washing hands, we’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.’   

The president said the reality is, ‘We can’t sit in the house for the next three years.’ 

‘There’ll be more death, than the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine,’ he again suggested. 

There’s no evidence yet that the coronavirus will simply go away, or that it’s seasonal. 

‘And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass and we’re going to be back to normal. But it’s been a rough process. There is no question about it,’ Trump said. 

Several weeks ago, on April 17, Trump said he expected ‘around 60,000, maybe 65,000’ Americans dead of the coronavirus. 

Ten days later he used 70,000 as the benchmark. 

The death toll surpassed 70,000 earlier Tuesday. 

On Friday, he said ‘hopefully’ the full tally would be below 100,000 lives lost. 

During Sunday night’s Fox News Channel town hall at the Lincoln Memorial, Trump  acknowledged he kept giving himself a higher ceiling.  

‘I used to say 65,000. Now I’m saying 80 or 90 and it goes up and it goes up rapidly,’ Trump told the anchors. ‘But it’s still going to be, no matter how you look at it, at the very lower end of the plane if we did the shutdown.’ 

The president had put the original ’15 Days to Slow the Spread’ in place when medical experts cited a death count in the millions if no social distancing was practiced. 

To the family members of victims Trump said, ‘I want to say that we’re doing everything that we can.’  

‘We love you, we’re with you, we’re working with you, we’re supplying vast amounts of money like never before, we want that money to get to the people and we want them to get better,’ Trump said. 

‘No matter how well we do next year – I think our economy is going to be raging, it’s going to be so good – no matter how well, those people can never ever replace somebody they love,’ the president continued. 

‘But we’re going to have something that they’re going to be very proud of,’ he added.  

Muir and his ABC News team interviewed Trump during his first big trip out of the White House since the coronavirus pandemic struck. 

Trump traveled to Phoenix, Arizona where he toured a Honeywell N95 mask plant – and didn’t wear a mask. 

Muir said during the ‘World News Tonight’ broadcast his temperature was taken before the sit-down and he sat at least 11 feet away from Trump.  

‘There were no handshakes with the president this time,’ Muir said.  

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