President Donald Trump is being criticized online for failing to wear a mask during a visit to the Honeywell facility in Phoenix, Arizona, which makes N95 respirators for health-care workers. While Trump did wear protective goggles, he did not wear a face mask in an area of the factory where face masks are required for employees.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta shared photographs of the visit, and highlighted the fact that President Trump did not wear a mask. "Trump not wearing mask but goggles at Honeywell facility," Acostra wrote. "Other aides not wearing masks at all. Sign in facility says 'face mask required in this area.'"
According to CNN, a White House official said they were advised masks weren't necessary, despite the sign instructing workers to wear them.
Trump was still met with criticism for not wearing a mask, especially because the factory was playing 'Live and Let Die' from the Hames Bond film of the same name.
Another user wrote: "They blasted 'Live and Let Die' while Trump walked around a Honeywell plant today in Arizona without a mask. It’s hard to believe this clip is real."
Trump has long opposed wearing a mask. When sharing CDC advice that Americans wear cloth face coverings in early April, the president suggested that he wouldn't be seen in a mask.
"I'm choosing not to do it," he said. "It's a recommendation, they recommend it. I just don't want to wear one myself."
But on Tuesday, Trump had suggested that he might wear a mask to the Honeywell facility.
"I think it's a mask facility, right? If it's a mask facility I will, yeah. I don't know if it's a mask facility. We're going to see Honeywell," he said, according to CNN.
President Trump's decision comes as Vice President Mike Pence expressed regret over his decision not to wear a face mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic.
"I didn't think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic," Pence said during a Fox News town hall on Sunday.
Pence had faced criticism for not wearing a mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, despite the hospital requiring all visitors to wear a mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a since-deleted tweet, the clinic said that the Vice President had been informed of the policy requiring masks prior to his arrival.
The Mayo Clinic's website also states: "Part of our protocol for ensuring your safety is to require all patients, visitors, and staff to wear a face-covering or mask while at Mayo Clinic to guard against transmission of COVID-19. If a patient or visitor does not have a mask, Mayo Clinic will provide one."
When journalist Steve Herman shared information proving that the Vice President's office had informed the press to wear a mask, going against Karen Pence's assertion that her husband didn't know that he needed to wear a mask, Herman was threatened with retaliatory action. Vice President Pence had initially suggested that he did not wear a mask because he is regularly tested for coronavirus.
Herman told The Washington Post that the White House Correspondents' Association had informed him that he had been barred from traveling in Air Force Two, the Vice President's plane.
A spokesperson in Pence’s office later told VOA that any punishment was still under discussion, pending an apology from Herman or VOA.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.