Trump traveled on Thursday to the crucial U.S. election battleground state of Michigan to visit a Ford Motor Co plant amid tensions with its Democratic governor during the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump toured the Ford plant, which has been recast to produce ventilators and personal protective equipment, and held a roundtable discussion with African-American leaders concerning vulnerable populations hit by the virus.
The president, who has said he is taking a drug not proven for the coronavirus after two White House staffers tested positive in recent weeks, did not wear a mask during any of his public events at the plant in the city of Ypsilanti even though Ford on Tuesday reiterated its policy that all visitors must wear them.
Trump has consistently disregarded guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging people to wear masks in close company to try to curb the spread of the virus.
Surrounded by Ford executives who were wearing masks, Trump told reporters he had put one on out of the view of cameras,"I had one on before. I wore one in the back area. I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it," Trump said.
When asked if Trump was told it was acceptable not to wear a mask in the plant, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said, "It's up to him."
"Honestly I think I look better in a mask," Trump added jokingly.