Trump Says US Won't Close If Hit By Coronavirus Second Wave

Henrietta Brewer
May 22, 2020

Trump did wear a mask for part of the tour of the plant that has been repurposed to make medical supplies, but refused to put it on in front of reporters - although at least one photographer snapped a photo that was posted on social media.

Mr Trump also believes that wearing a mask would "send the wrong message", and by not using one he signals that he is fighting to reopen the country.

He referred to the ventilators being produced by Ford and others as the "great medical arsenal" of America.

"I think they're being forced to open, frankly, the people want to get out".

Trump praised the company and its workers calling both a “national treasure” during a speech at Ford’s Rawsonville plant
Trump praised the company and its workers calling both a “national treasure” during a speech at Ford’s Rawsonville plant

With little more than five months left until the presidential election, Mr Trump is behind his Democratic rival Joe Biden in national polls - as well as some battleground states such as MI, which he won four years ago.

A statement from Ford said that Bill Ford, the company's executive chairman, "encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived" and said the president wore it during "a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years" before removing it.

An executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requires factories to suspend all nonessential in-person visits, including tours, though Nessel said her office would not bar Trump. "It's standard", Trump said, while speaking at a Michigan Ford factory tour, after a reporter asked if he's concerned about the second wave.

All 50 states have announced plans to begin loosening restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, opening their economies at varying speeds. "We're going to look at it".

On Wednesday, Trump threatened to withhold federal funds from MI after its secretary of state mailed absentee ballot applications to millions of voters. Rising floodwaters have displaced thousands of residents near the city of Midland.

Trump addressed Whitmer briefly during his speech, saying he had a "great" conversation with her regarding the recent floods in mid-Michigan. "We've got to stop demonising one another and, really, focus on the fact that the common enemy is the virus".

Ford "knew exactly what the order was and if they permitted anyone, even the president of the United States, to defy that order, I think it has serious health consequences, potentially their workers".

The Midwestern state ranks seventh among USA states with 53,009 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, a Reuters tally showed, with at least 5,060 deaths.

Trump first sparred with Ford during the 2016 campaign over the automaker's investments in Mexico and had vowed to slap hefty tariffs taxes on its vehicles made in Mexico.

Trump won in MI in the 2016 election, the first Republican to do since 1988.

Reuters reports contributed to this coverage.

Other reports by iNewsToday