A Maine manufacturer of COVID-19 testing swabs said it’s discarding the entire output created while President Donald Trump toured the plant without a mask, USA Today reported.
A representative of Puritan Medical Products did not say explicitly that the action was due to Trump’s lack of any protective gear during his tour Friday — but no other explanation was offered. The swabs are being tossed as manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand for the critical for COVID-19 testing swabs.
“The running of the factory machines is very limited [Friday] and will only occur when the president is touring the facility floor,” the company’s marketing manager Virginia Templet told the newspaper. “Swabs produced during that time will be discarded.” Temple did not reveal how many swabs would be thrown out.
During his appearance at the Puritan factory in Guilford, Trump made a few remarks to workers, posed for photos, and put his arm around an employee, saying, “I’m not supposed to do that,” then waved his hand dismissively. (Check out the video up top.)
Trump wore no face mask nor any other protective gear, which is his typical controversial protocol, despite recommendations to the contrary by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He stopped to talk to employees — who were wearing white lab coats, masks, gloves, goggles, hair coverings and plastic booties — while working with the sterile swabs.
There was no immediate comment from the White House about the discarded swabs.