Pictures of Donald Trump wearing a face mask while on a visit in Michigan have emerged.
In a video published by Sky News, the US president can be seen wearing a navy blue mask.
The images emerged after a state attorney general called Trump a “petulant child” because he allegedly refused to wear the covering during a tour of a plant belonging to the Ford car company.
President Trump wears a mask during his tour of the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where ventilators, masks and other medical supplies are being manufactured. https://t.co/UCqBVUEuBZ
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Surrounded by Ford executives who were wearing masks, Trump told reporters he had put one on earlier in the visit.
“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,” he said.
Trump toured a plant belonging to Ford in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which has been recast to produce ventilators and personal protective equipment to use in the coronavirus crisis.
When asked whether Trump was told it was acceptable not to wear a mask in the plant, the Ford executive chairman, Bill Ford, said: “It’s up to him.” The company had indicated prior to the visit that the president should wear a mask at the factory.
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The Michigan state attorney general, Dana Nessel, had written to the White House saying it was the law in Michigan that everyone should wear a mask in such a setting – an indoor venue with many people in attendance.
“The president is like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules. This is not a joke,” she told CNN, adding that Trump’s behaviour was “extremely disappointing” and that thousands of people in Michigan had died from coronavirus.
The US death toll on Thursday surpassed 94,000 and there are more than 1.5m confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country.
Trump said he had tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday morning, but within the last week two senior White House aides have tested positive, and the president has been taking the drug hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic.
This is despite it being not proven for treating the coronavirus, and stern warnings from federal regulators and the World Health Organization that it should not be taken for coronavirus outside clinical trials.