The face of defiance: Trump, unmasked, at a Ford plant in Michigan
It goes on your face, not in your hand.(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Touring a Ford plant in Michigan Thursday, President Trump wore a mask, as he should’ve. But either his vanity or arrogance or both made him shove the mask adorned with the presidential seal in his pocket when he appeared before the cameras.
On a hunch informed by anecdote, the man will ignore evidence and swallow a pill with potentially dangerous side effects. Yet he won’t publicly show the simple step of donning a mask when experts say it’s one of the best ways to reduce person-to-person transmission of coronavirus.
More than a century ago, a far better president heralded the importance of the “bully pulpit,” a recognition that the power of the most important office in the land is crystallized in the words and example of the person who occupies it.
Trump said he put the face-covering away for the public portion of his presentation because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” Which exactly, completely, misses the point.
The public should see that their leader prizes public health over personal pride. But, of course, this one doesn’t.