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Image of Trump Wearing Mask at Ford PPE Plant — That He Didn’t Want Public to See — Aired by MSNBC

The first photo of President Donald Trump wearing a face mask was aired by MSNBC Thursday night. The photo was taken during the private portion of the Trump’s tour of Ford Motor Company’s plant, which now makes personal protective equipment.

ABC’s Bill Ritter first posted the photo on Thursday evening, but took his original tweet down saying ABC News “ruled that they weren’t yet able to confirm the photo.” MSNBC then aired the photo on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell a couple hours later but didn’t credit where the photo came from.

Trump said that he was unsure if he would wear a mask during the tour Thursday afternoon. At the plant, Trump hinted to reporters that he wore a mask during the private part of his tour, but didn’t keep it on because he didn’t want to “give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Trump said.

In a statement, Ford Motor Company said, “Bill Ford 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 President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”

As of May 21, Trump had not been seen publicly wearing a mask amid pressure from members of his party to continue not wearing the protective coverings. The Federalist’s David Marcus even went as far to say Trump wearing a mask would be a “searing image of weakness.”

An image of Donald Trump wearing a protective face mask while performing his duties, behind the Resolute Desk, or in the White House briefing room would be a searing image of weakness. It would signal that the United States is so powerless against this invisible enemy sprung from China that even its president must cower behind a mask. That simply should not happen.

Beyond the astonishingly awful optics of a president of the United States wearing a medical mask there is a practical reason for the commander in chief to forego them at public events. Masks are inimical to communication. Many of us have experienced the phenomenon of smiling at someone at the grocery store only to realize that the gesture is hidden and therefore unseen.

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