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President Donald Trump on Tuesday is expected to deliver remarks at Honeywell’s mask production facility, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on in the United States.
While at the facility, Trump said he will wear a mask as a precaution against the coronavirus, if required to do so. Trump has refused to wear a mask as a coronavirus precaution despite federal guidance calling for Americans to wear one when in public.
“I think it’s a masked facility,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for his trip to Honeywell. “If it’s a masked facility, I will. I don’t know if it’s a masked facility,” he said.
Honeywell is among several companies that have stepped up to manufacture much-needed materials to help those on the front lines fight the pandemic.
Using the Defense Production Act, the White House has asked companies to ramp up production of protective gear and needed materials as hospitals, stores and testing centers warn they’re experiencing shortages in medical masks, ventilators, gloves, testing swabs and other essential equipment.
Trump only reluctantly invoked the powers of the Defense Production Act. He faced mounting pressure from Democratic lawmakers, who sent the president a letter earlier in March urging him to use its powers.
The outbreak has spread to dozens of countries globally, with more than 3.6 million confirmed cases worldwide and over 251,898 deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 1.1 million cases in the United States and at least 68,934 deaths, according to the latest tallies.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.