Live Coronavirus News – The New York Times

Live Coronavirus News - The New York Times

Trump did not wear a mask in public in Michigan, which he visited after threatening its federal funds.

President Trump, who has defiantly refused to wear a mask in public despite the recommendations of federal health officials, toured a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Thursday with his face uncovered. It was against the factory’s guidelines and the urging of Michigan’s attorney general, who had written him earlier that it was “the law of this state.”

“I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Mr. Trump said. At one point during the tour, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” blared over the loudspeakers.

The Ford Motor Company later said in a statement that William Clay Ford Jr., its executive chairman, had “encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived.”

“He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years,” the statement said. “The president later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”

Dana Nessel, the state’s attorney general, had sent the president an open letter asking him to wear a face covering during his visit.

The announcement, made on Twitter, came several hours after the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate had asked Mr. Trump to lower the flags as the country reached 100,000 virus-related deaths in the next few days.

In a letter to Mr. Trump on Thursday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, called for “a national expression of grief,” and lowering the flags would be an appropriate gesture at a time when the United States is preparing to honor those it lost to war on Memorial Day.

“Respectful of them and the loss to our country, we are writing to request that you order flags to be flown at half-staff on all public buildings in our country on the sad day of reckoning when we reach 100,000 deaths,” they wrote. “It would serve as a national expression of grief so needed by everyone in our country.”

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