But to no one’s surprise, the president was seen without a mask at the Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, even though Ford’s policy requires everyone to wear PPE at the facility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ford officials wore facial coverings while Trump, senior adviser Hope Hicks and chief of staff Mark Meadows went without masks for the public portion of the tour.
Trump claimed he wore a mask privately but took it off before appearing in public because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” according to CNN reporter Manu Raju.
TMZ published a photo that purportedly shows Trump wearing a face mask at the plant, though the image’s origins were unclear.
The president had hinted to reporters on at least two occasions that he might cover his face during the visit. Ford officials initially said they would make the president follow the same rules as everyone else, but backpedaled and claimed they would defer to the White House’s own policies on mask-wearing.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article included a tweet with a photo of Trump wearing a mask. The writer of the tweet could not verify the photo and has since removed it.