Cluck, cluck, cluck, puk puk pukaaak—that’s the sound a Ford makes, apparently.
On Tuesday, the auto manufacturer allowed Donald Trump to roam its Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan without wearing a mask during the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s despite Ford saying it had previously informed the White House that all visitors to the facility would be required to wear masks and the Michigan state attorney general’s insistence that it is required by law. The president, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, have made a big point out of not wearing the masks in what is either macho political posturing or a genuine belief that they are special and everyone else can go screw themselves.
In remarks to reporters during the visit, Trump claimed to have been wearing a mask in the “back area” of the plant, despite clear photographic evidence to the contrary and the fact that the president made those remarks, maskless, inside the plant. Trump further insisted that he had deliberately taken off the mask before talking with reporters as a funny little fuck you to trigger the libs, as he didn’t “want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
As it turns out, even if Trump did wear a mask at some point during the tour, he apparently removed it immediately after looking at some Ford GTs.
“[Executive chairman] Bill Ford encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived,” a Ford spokesperson told Gizmodo in a statement. “He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”
When asked about whether the company’s policy prohibited the president from walking around the facility without a mask, Ford told reporters, “It’s up to him.”
Not only has the president consistently refused to wear a mask in public, contravening public health guidelines issued by federal scientists, the White House has also experienced multiple cases of coronavirus—raising the question of how the U.S. is ready for reopening when it can’t even keep individuals with the virus from working in the same building as the president. Trump has also claimed to be taking hydroxychloroquine, an experimental and unproven coronavirus treatment, and on Tuesday he flubbed his way around a question as to what his latest test for the virus found. He’s also known for his completely undiscerning selection of medical advice and the extreme lengths he’s willing to go to hide the details of his personal health.
“I tested very positively,” Trump told reporters. “In another sense... I tested positively towards negative. I tested perfectly this morning. Meaning, I tested negative.”
At a press conference during the event, Trump also took the opportunity to launch into a free-form, totally incoherent thought exercise about fictional vote “harvesting” he believes results from allowing citizens to vote by mail.
“We don’t want to have vote by mail,” Trump told reporters, before carving out an exemption for himself. “Now, if you’re president of the United States and you live in Florida and you’re not able to be there, you should be able to send in a ballot.”
Update: 5/22/202 at 1:00 a.m. ET: Here are some photos of Trump in a mask, before that whole thing where he took it off and walked around the Ford factory without a mask for the rest of the visit, thus fully negating whatever concession to health guidelines he made in the first place.
We’d like to congratulate the president for his dogged persistence in, once again, finding the worst possible solution to this situation.