President Donald Trump was spotted wearing a mask during his visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, although he took it off when the media was present.
Despite a testy back and forth with state officials over his refusal to don a facial covering at the facility, NBC News obtained a photo provided by an anonymous source — an image verified to be authentic by the news outlet — showing Trump with a dark-colored covering on his face. The mask had the presidential seal in one corner.
"I wore one in this back area, but I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it," Trump told the media at the Ypsilanti, Michigan plant.
"I think I look better in the mask. I'm making a speech, so I won't have it on now."
Because of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans, Ford requires everyone in their facilities to wear a facial covering. The White House was notified of the policy before Trump's Thursday visit.
Ford said in a statement that executive chairman Bill Ford "encouraged" Trump to put on a mask at the plant.
"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," the statement reads.
Trump has yet to wear a mask in public during the pandemic despite local, state, and federal guidance that either requires or recommends doing so in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Trump is tested for the virus daily and, according to the White House, has not turned in a positive result.
Earlier this month, Trump said the coronavirus tests are "somewhat overrated" despite spending weeks touting their importance to reopening the country and getting back to normal life.
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