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Trump defends not wearing mask at mask factory tour

The song Live and Let Die played in the background during the US president’s visit.

Donald Trump at Honeywell International's mask-making operation in Phoenix, Arizona on 5 May.
Donald Trump at Honeywell International's mask-making operation in Phoenix, Arizona on 5 May.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has defended not wearing a mask during a visit to Honeywell mask-making factory on 5 May, saying the head of the factory advised against it.

Trump was photographed not wearing a mask during his trip to the factory in Arizona.

He told reporters yesterday that he wore a number of masks “backstage” for “not too long” during the visit. 

The president was captured walking around the factory without a mask while Live and Let Die, a cover by Guns N’ Roses, played over the factory speakers.

“I had a mask on for a period of time,” he said. 

A reporter replied to say he was seen not wearing a mask, and Trump said: “Well, I can’t help it if you didn’t see me. I had a mask on but I didn’t need it.”

He said he asked the head of Honeywell if he should wear one, and he was told “you don’t need one in this territory”. 

The president said he did wear a Honeywell mask, along with “about four other masks” for “not too long but I had it on backstage”. 

The visit to the factory was the president’s first major trip since the Covid-19 lockdown began. 

Trump’s audience at the factory sat masked in compliance with US government recommendations and company’s rule, which was clearly displayed on a sign in the facility reading: ‘Please wear your mask at all times.’

Trump had teased as he left Washington that after months of resistance he might decide to cover his face.

A Pentagon contract worth $133 million (€123 million) was given to companies Honeywell, 3M and Owens & Minor to make N95 masks. 

Speaking to reporters at the White House yesterday, Trump said the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the US harder than Pearl Harbor in World War II or the 9/11 attacks.

“We went through the worst attack we’ve ever had on our country. This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” he said. 

“This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Centre.”

With reporting by AFP 

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