Michigan AG: ‘We’re Gonna Have to Take Action’ if Companies Welcome Trump and Put Workers at Risk

President Donald Trump pumps his fist while boarding Air Force One as he departs Thursday, May 21, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump will visit a Ypsilanti, Mich., Ford plant that has been converted to making personal protection and medical equipment. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP, CNN

Appearing Thursday on CNN’s New Day, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) urged President Donald Trump to wear a face mask during his tour of a Ford manufacturing plant, suggesting that he could be banned from unclosed facilities in the state if he opts against wearing one.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

ALISYN CAMEROTA: You felt so strongly about this that you wrote a letter to the White House asking the president to wear a mask. Why did you think that was necessary?

DANA NESSEL: Obviously, here in Michigan, we’ve been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve lost over 5,000 of our state residents and we have well over 50,000 infections. Our auto manufacturing facilities just went back online on Monday, but there was a carefully negotiated agreement that became law between the auto manufacturers and the UAW. There are a number of requirements in place — one, that there not be any visits by outsiders to the plants anyway, but we’re waiving that — but also that there be six-foot distancing between people in the plant, people be properly screened before they enter, and lately, that they wear a facial covering in order to protect themselves and in order to protect the workers. We are just asking that President Trump comply with the law of our state — just like we would make the same request of anyone else in those plants.

CAMEROTA: You also point out that President Trump has been exposed. His personal valet tested positive, so you write in your letter: “Anyone who has potentially been exposed, including the President of the United States, has not only a legal responsibility, but also a social and moral to take reasonable precautions to prevent further spread of the virus.” In terms of the legal responsibility, you’re the chief law enforcement officer for your state, so what if he doesn’t wear a mask?

NESSEL: Obviously, we’re asking that he do that. For most people, of course, legally they can be held accountable… if he fails to wear a mask, he’s going to be asked not to return to any unclosed facilities inside our state. I know that Ford has asked him to do the same thing.

But if we know that he’s coming to our state and we know he’s not going to follow the law, I think we’re gonna have to take action against any company or any facility that allows him inside those facilities and puts our workers at risk. We just simply can’t afford it here in our state… If President Trump doesn’t care about his own health, doesn’t care about the health and the safety of people who work in those facilities, at least care about the economic situation of costing these facilities so much money by having to close down and having to disinfect the plant after he leaves.

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