Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told CNN Thursday that if President Donald Trump fails to wear a mask when he visits a Ford plant in her state, he will be asked “not to return.”
Nessel wrote a letter to the White House with her request. Anyone who has been “recently exposed, including the President of the United States, has not only a legal, but also a social and moral responsibility, to take reasonable precautions to prevent further spread of the virus,” she wrote, referring to one of the president’s personal valet drivers who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.
“Obviously here in Michigan we have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” Nessel told CNN. “Our auto manufacturing facilities just went back online on Monday, but there was a carefully negotiated agreement that became law” between auto manufacturers and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).
ICYMI: Michigan AG @DanaNessel joined @CNN this morning to talk about the letter she sent President Trump — asking that he adhere to safety guidelines and wear a mask during his visit to their state later today. pic.twitter.com/SUop2CERBm
— Democratic AGs (@DemocraticAGs) May 21, 2020
“There are a number of requirements in place,” including one which doesn’t allow outside visits to the plant, which they are waiving,” the attorney general said. Other guidelines, including social distancing, screening requirements, and mask requirements were put in place for people “in order to protect themselves and in order to protect the workers,” she added.
“We are just asking that President Trump comply with the law of our state.”
The attorney general said that people who don’t comply with the masking laws could be held legally accountable, but said that President Trump “doesn’t have the same level of legal accountability as everybody else.”
The president told reporters Tuesday that he “hadn’t even thought of” whether or not he was going to wear a mask when visiting Michigan. “It depends on what situation, am I standing right next to everybody, or am I spread out,” the president said.
“If he fails to wear a mask, he’s going to be asked not to return to any enclosed facilities inside our state,” Nessel told CNN. “If we know he is coming to our state, and we know he’s not going to follow the law, I think we’re going to have to take action against any company or any facility that allows him inside those facilities.”
“We just simply can’t afford” to put workers at risk, she added. (RELATED: Ford Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19 One Day After Plant Reopens)
Nessel mentioned that some auto manufacturing plants in Michigan that had reopened have already had to shut down due to infections. A Ford plant that reopened Wednesday had to be shut down the same day after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, CNBC reported.
“We are asking that if President Trump doesn’t care about his own health, doesn’t care about the health and safety of the people who work in those facilities,” she said, “at least care about the economic situation” that results from the plants having to shut down.