As many across the country continue to social distance for fear of COVID-19, there’s one cross-country traveler in particular that many wish would stay away.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump was rebuked by at least two local leaders who would rather he keep his distance.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the president won’t be welcome again in her state after his Thursday visit to a Ford plant.
While visiting the facility, Trump walked around without a mask on, boasting about his defiance of the requirements in the state. He said he wore the mask at some points during his visit, but he took it off when he spoke to reporters — even though everyone else was wearing a mask at the time.
“I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Trump said.
Nessel was not impressed, saying her office would not welcome the president back to Michigan. She noted that it’s both Ford’s policy and state law that everyone wear a mask at such facilities. A court has even upheld the governor’s orders.
“Today’s events were extremely disappointing and yet totally predictable,” she said. “The president is like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules. And I have to say this is no joke. I mean, you just reported that 93,000 people have died in the United States. He’s in a county right now where over 100 people have died.”
She even said Ford might be held responsible for the president’s conduct.
“I think that we’re going to have to have a serious conversation with Ford in the event that they permitted the president to be in publicly enclosed places in violation of the order,” said Nessel. “They knew exactly what the order was, and if they permitted anyone, even the president of the United States, to defy that order, I think it has serious health consequences, potentially their workers. This was a lengthy negotiation and discussion between the UAW, the big three auto manufacturers and our governor to ensure if people went back to work they would be safe.”
It’s not just Michigan leadership that doesn’t want to see Trump come back.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young asked Trump on Thursday to cancel his plans to visit the city on Memorial Day. He posted a statement urging the president to stay away on Twitter:
Dear Mr. President @realDonaldTrump, please stay home! The City of Baltimore is currently under a Stay at Home order for the safety of our residents, who have been hit hard by #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/7FwrHIHyeX
— Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young (@mayorbcyoung) May 21, 2020
“We have worked closely with our health professionals to educate the public about the benefits of social distancing and staying home, unless leaving for an essential reason, like visiting a doctor or picking up groceries. That President Trump is deciding to pursue non-essential travel sends the wrong message to our residents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 virus,” Young said. “I wish that the president, as our nation’s leader, would set a positive example and not travel during thing holiday weekend.”
He also said that the city can’t deal with the expense of accommodating a presidential visit, given the economic distress Baltimore and the rest of the country is experiencing.
“I would hope that the President would change his mind and decide to remain home,” he said. “If he decides, however, to move forward with this scheduled trip to Baltimore we will, of course, be prepared for his visit.”