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The US President visited the US election battleground state of Michigan amid tensions with its Democratic governor during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has consistently disregarded guidance from the US. 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 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.
Trump’s visit included a tour of the Ford plant, which has been recast to produce ventilators and personal protective equipment during the pandemic.
The plant held a roundtable discussion with African-American leaders concerning vulnerable populations hit by the virus.
Trump 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.
The company later said in a statement that the chairman had “encouraged” Trump to wear a mask when he arrived.
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They later revealed that the President had obliged and put on a protective mask during a private viewing of three two-seater Ford GT sports cars.
However, the US president then removed the face covering for the rest of the visit.
Trump has urged states to loosen coronavirus-related restrictions so the ravaged US economy can recover from the blow of stay at home orders.
However, this is in contrast to the advice of public health experts.
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Experts have warned that premature relaxation of restrictions could lead to a second wave of infections.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is facing a backlash from some critics against her stay-at-home orders in a state hit hard by the last recession.
Trump has even encouraged anti-lockdown protests against Whitmer – an opponent to the Republicans, ahead of the elections held in Michigan’s capital, making his visit all the more controversial.
Whitmer, whose state has been hit by devastating floods, on Thursday moved to further reopen Michigan’s economy through a series of executive orders.
Trump hit out during the the run up to the presidential election, where he is seeking re-election on November 3.
Most recently, the US President accused China of a disinformation campaign designed to help Joe Biden win the election.
On Twitter on Wednesday, President Trump claimed that China are “desperate” to see him lose the election this year.
He wrote: “China is on a massive disinformation campaign because they are desperate to have sleepy Joe Biden win the presidential race so they can continue to rip-off the United States, as they have done for decades, until I came along!”
President Trump also claimed that China wants him to lose his reelection campaign on April 30.
In a White House interview with Reuters news agency, he said Beijing faced a “lot” of possible consequences from the US for the outbreak.
He said: “There are many things I can do. We’re looking for what happened.”
Mr Trump added: “China will do anything they can to have me lose this race.”
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