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Trump could violate Ford face mask requirement on plant tour

He has habitually refused to wear a mask at the White House and in recent public appearances.

DETROIT — President Donald Trump will be in Michigan Thursday.

He is going to visit a Detroit-area plant, owned by Ford, which has been repurposed to make medical breathing machines. It will be the first time the president has been in Michigan since the pandemic began. Michigan is seen as a key battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. 

Ford requires everyone in its factories to wear face masks to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. But it's not clear whether President Donald Trump will wear one when he visits.

He has habitually refused to wear a mask at the White House and in recent public appearances.

Ford says it notified the White House of a policy that requires everyone in factories to wear personal protective equipment. But the company says the White House will make the determination.   

The Big 3 automakers restarted their plants on Monday -- a big step in the motor city's return from the pandemic. The companies say they have implemented new safety measures for employees -- but the UAW has been critical of the move to reopen, saying it is too soon and too risky. 

But then, Ford temporarily halted production at two assembly plans Tuesday and Wednesday after three workers tested positive for coronavirus. The shutdowns show the difficulty that automakers and other businesses will have in trying to reopen factories in the midst of the pandemic. 

The Associated Press contributed to this reporting. 

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