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Pennsylvania Factory Canceled Visit From Donald Trump In Part Out of Concern for Workers' Health

Pennsylvania Factory Canceled Visit From Donald Trump In Part Out of Concern for Workers' Health
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

As the global pandemic reached the United States and it became clear how poorly prepared the country was, a factory in Pennsylvania put the welfare of the USA first.

The Braskem America facility in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania went on a 28 day lockdown to crank out personal protective equipment or PPE.

Workers stayed at the plant around the clock to ensure the workforce would not be affected or infected by the viral pathogen at the root of the pandemic.

The story of their dedication and commitment made headlines around the world.

Pennsylvania workers going home after 28 days making COVID-19 protective

So what better place for President Donald Trump to make a public appearance to tout his pandemic response?

Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have ramped up their public appearances recently showing up at another PPE plant in Phoenix, Arizona, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and a a rehabilitation center and nursing home in Alexandria, Virginia.

It is an election year after all.

While officials at Braskem America would normally welcome a presidential visit, they effectively told the White House "thanks, but no thanks" according to a report from The Washington Post. But their reasons were far from political.

The facility cited worker safety as the reason for passing on a presidential visit.

Their concerns are certainly not unfounded.

A day after the visit to the Alexandria nursing home and rehab center, VP Pence's press secretary Katie Miller—that accompanied him on the visit—tested positive for the virus. Secret Service personnel, an aide to White House advisor Ivanka Trump and other members of White House staff have all tested positive in recent weeks.

However despite the global pandemic and calls for social distancing and face coverings, President Trump does not actively practice either. He has refused repeatedly to wear a mask in public.

Pence has only occasionally worn a mask and infamously chose to be the only person in the room not wearing one on his trip to the Mayo Clinic—violating hospital policy. After a variety of explanation, Pence eventually apologized for making the choice not to wear a mask.

Both Trump and his new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, recently disparaged the need for testing. Trump cited Katie Miller as his reason.

The poor personal pandemic safeguards and the spate of positive test results at the White House all added up to a risk the Braskem America plant was unwilling to take. The safety of their workforce was more important than a meet and greet with Trump.

In April when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first called for the use of masks, Trump—who reportedly considers masks a sign of weakness—stated:

"I don't think I'm going to be doing it. Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens—I just don't see it."

After his maskless visit to the Arizona N95 mask making facility, images from the visit were featured in a campaign style video produced by the White House.

The book Front Row at the Trump Show is available here.