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President Trump tours Ford plant in Ypsilanti

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Posted at 8:51 PM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 10:55:16-04

YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — President Donald Trump arrived in Michigan Thursday afternoon and is toured Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PRESIDENT SPEAK AT THE PLANT

The Rawsonville plant has been used to produce personal protective equipment and ventilators during the pandemic. During his visit to the plant, President Trump briefly wore a mask. Through most of the visit he did not wear one as requested by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Ford Motor Company is requiring all employees to wear masks inside the plant and had sent the safety guidelines to the White House in advance of his visit.

Ahead of his tour of the plant, he sat down with African American leaders for a roundtable discussion.

"The White House asked to visit Ford's Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., as part of the president's tour to thank businesses producing PPE and important medical equipment," a statement by Ford said. "We're proud to assemble more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker and welcome Thursday's visit as part of Ford's longstanding history of hosting sitting presidents and senior government leaders."

A White House source tells us that Trump will also discuss the collaboration between Ford and GE to make ventilators and PPE. He will deliver remarks after the visit, the source tells us.

Joe Biden released this statement:

First, my heart goes out to the families impacted by the failure of the Edenville and Sanford Dams. As Michiganders were being forced to flee their homes and small businesses, Governor Whitmer got right to work, declaring a state of emergency and deploying the National Guard. In times of crisis, leaders don’t drag their feet and they don’t politicize — they spring to action to secure needed relief. But in the wake of disaster, Donald Trump once again showed us who he is — threatening to pull federal funding and encouraging division. Michigan is in the fight of its life as it battles this pandemic and flooding disaster, and now more than ever, leadership and empathy matter.

For the last three years, Donald Trump has turned his back on Michigan’s working families. His delayed, erratic, and corrupt response to the pandemic has been no different. In Donald Trump’s America, the wealthy and well-connected have gotten relief – while small business owners have too often seen their doors shutter.

Donald Trump doesn’t understand that Wall Street didn’t build America – it’s the hardworking middle class at factories across Michigan that built this country and are the backbone of our economy, and it’s unions that built Michigan’s middle class. But right now, workers on the front lines of this pandemic are hurting. More than 1 million Michiganders have filed for unemployment, and Donald Trump is doing everything he can to side with corporate executives over unions and workers. We also can’t forget that the toll of this pandemic has been especially tough on communities of color – exposing the dangerous consequences of inaction, injustice, and institutional racism.

It didn’t have to be this way.

We need a President in the White House who understands what it’s like to struggle and get back up – with the same resilience that motivates Michigan families every single day. I know Michigan will bounce back because I’ve seen it before when President Obama and I worked to rescue the auto industry and our economy from the brink of collapse. And I know that under the leadership of Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist, Michigan’s best days are still ahead.

"I’m glad that Michigan was getting recognized. The point of his visit hopefully was to recognize the men and women who just retooled and started making all of this equipment in the middle of an emergency and showing the arsenal of democracy and what we can do, but we have to be realists and sure, it was partly political,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin.