President Trump, on his trip yesterday to Pennsylvania, went on the inside tour of a medical equipment distribution center without wearing a mask. Other government officials in his party wore face coverings around the facility.
The president toured and made remarks at Owens & Minor Inc. in Allentown to tout his administration’s work in producing and distributing personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic. The distribution center has sent millions of N95 masks, surgical gowns and gloves to hospitals around the country.
Photos showed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and supply chain leader Rear Adm. John Polowczyk with face coverings. Each employee on the floor to listen to Trump’s remarks wore one as well.
The president hasn’t worn a mask on camera to date, even as his own White House has directed officials in the West Wing to wear one when social distancing isn’t possible.
Trump did not wear a face covering last week during a trip to an Arizona Honeywell factory that was producing masks. Vice President Pence faced criticism for not wearing a mask during a trip to the Mayo Clinic last month.
The White House has defended Trump’s decision not to wear a face covering by noting that he is tested daily for coronavirus and has tested negative. Officials argue that face coverings are intended to prevent infected individuals from spreading the virus, so a mask would be immaterial for someone who is not a carrier.