Donald Trump has come under fire for refusing to wear a mask during a factory tour in Michigan, where the face coverings are compulsory.
Despite the US president bringing his own custom blue face mask with the presidential seal stamped on the front, Trump refused to put it on, telling reporters "I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it”.
The incident occurred on Thursday (local time) while Trump toured the Ford factory that is now being used to manufacturer much needed ventilators. All employees and visitors are required to wear a cloth mask.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wrote a letter to the White House requesting for Trump to wear a mask during his visit to the Ford plant in accordance with a recent state wide order.
The order requests everyone who can medically tolerate wearing a face to do so when in an enclosed public space.
"If he fails to wear a mask, he's going to be asked not to return to any enclosed facility inside our state," Ms Nessel said on CNN Thursday morning (local time).
When media asked Trump to explain why he was the only person not wearing a face mask, he responded that he had been wearing one earlier but had taken it off.
"It was very nice. It looked very nice. They said not necessary,” he said referring to Ford staff.
The president then told the media he thought he looked better wearing the mask but was about to make a speech, which is why he had removed it.
He had previously stated he would not wear a mask as he thought it made him look weak.
A company spokesman said Ford Chairman Bill Ford did "encourage President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived."
The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, is viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask. Not their fault, & I did put on a mask. No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2020
"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,” CNN reports.
In typical style, Mr Trump responded to the controversy on social media, tweeting that the “wacky do nothing Attorney General of Michigan” was “viciously threatening” Ford over the president not wearing a mask during his visit.
Newsweek has reported the state of Michigan has reported 52,988 confirmed coronavirus cases and 5,060 deaths.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.