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 gearyoutu.be
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.
NEWWS >> Trump has wanted to get out in public to show he's on the front lines fighting the virus. But fears are r… https://t.co/AFeTYjUWAD— Carol Leonnig (@Carol Leonnig) 1589231099.0
WH principals who have not been following CDC guidelines have left worry in their wake. Events with this WH have ca… https://t.co/65SCWrQwvi— Carol Leonnig (@Carol Leonnig) 1589234672.0
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.
trump wanted to use a PPE plant visit for his re-election campaign & visit it. They turned him down. These people l… https://t.co/vNu1RJyU1l— katherine ✌🏻❤️🎸🌎🧚🌺🌼🌸 (@katherine ✌🏻❤️🎸🌎🧚🌺🌼🌸) 1589313204.0
@joncoopertweets @ShawnInArizona Would you want numerous individuals from a known COVID-19 hot spot touring your manufacturing facilities?— 😷 Rocky Mountain Views 😷 (@😷 Rocky Mountain Views 😷) 1589296556.0
Trump wanted to visit the Pennsylvania factory where workers had slept for 28 days to manufacture PPE. But factory… https://t.co/dqsBPKceRh— Philip Rucker (@Philip Rucker) 1589233254.0
@katherineOma @HelenArmstrong5 And knowing how thick Trump is he would pull a "Pence" & just not wear a mask while… https://t.co/xCxEAuyktf— Sir Vincent Kiki (@Sir Vincent Kiki) 1589313940.0
@CarolLeonnig @gtconway3d @realDonaldTrump @VP Too bad all factories don't tell Trump to go to hell unless he is wi… https://t.co/DI7JR0AZh2— Roland Hayes (@Roland Hayes) 1589233020.0
@hayes041352 @CarolLeonnig @gtconway3d @realDonaldTrump @VP The problem is that if you don't take off your mask, Tr… https://t.co/eOzUQXRcWm— William Chuang (@William Chuang) 1589256241.0
@joncoopertweets @realDonaldTrump is irresponsible. He is using these visits like rallies. Good for #Pennsylvania… https://t.co/oVBtva1AID— bottles (@bottles) 1589295651.0
@katherineOma @MoLulkowski Now he will find a way to punish them. That's how he rolls.— Annie Bird Gray (@Annie Bird Gray) 1589316762.0
@CarolLeonnig @gtconway3d @realDonaldTrump @VP Companies are not risking their workers to give Trump a photo op!— Carol Mckently (@Carol Mckently) 1589233702.0
@727hopealways I would be too. They really did do the right thing. If anyone of trumps non mask wearing henchmen ha… https://t.co/KP0UMh9ovW— katherine ✌🏻❤️🎸🌎🧚🌺🌼🌸 (@katherine ✌🏻❤️🎸🌎🧚🌺🌼🌸) 1589316677.0
@joncoopertweets @AngelaAngalcina Good for them for caring more about their employees than the fragile ego of our self absorbed @POTUS.— Not a COVID Jester (@Not a COVID Jester) 1589299494.0
1) I don’t blame them - the WH is a Petri dish of #COVID19 right now 2) They need to focus on making PPE, not bein… https://t.co/lLMQEKxI0v— Dr. Donna #WashYourHands (@Dr. Donna #WashYourHands) 1589313185.0
@joncoopertweets https://t.co/dQ58HIX9YQ— ASK (@ASK) 1589296421.0
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.