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The US President has come under fire from critics for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The US has seen the highest death toll worldwide, at 112,463 as of June 7.
President Trump visited a factory in Guilford, Maine, which manufactures sterile cotton swabs for COVID-19 testing on Friday.
The entire days worth of swabs had to be tossed out due to the presidents refusal to wear a mask while on the factory floor.
Puritan Medical Products hosted the president’s visit to the site.
The factory had planned a “limited” production run for Trump’s appearance, according to USA Today.
When asked on Friday about discarding the swabs, Virginia Templet, Puritan’s marketing manager, replied that the swabs produced during the visit won’t be used.
Virginia said: “The running of the factory machines is very limited today and will only occur when the president is touring the facility floor.
“Swabs produced during that time will be discarded.”
Purtian have not confirmed how many swabs it will need to throw out as a result of the potential contamination.
Trump, during the tour, touted American manufacturing as instrumental in the countries response to COVID-19, and as vital to the economy.
He said of Puritan: “They’re doing something very important.
“When you think about what they’re doing, their product is superior.
“And it’s made in the USA, and I shouldn’t tell you this, but I use it every other day.
“I go like this, I say, ‘Is that a Puritan, please?’”
Trump then proceeded to hold up a sterilised swab to his nose to laughter from the crowd.
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Swabs are essential in COVID-19 testing, and they are inserted into the nose and the nasopharynx, which is the upper part of the throat behind the nose.
The swabs need to be sterilised to avoid cross-contamination or inaccurate testing.
Puritan’s workers were pictured maintaining a sterilised environment through PPE, whereas Trump was in a suit.
The US’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has previously published guidelines recommending people wear masks indoors to minimise transmissions of COVID-19.
President Trump has repeatedly refused to wear a mask, remarking often that he does not want to wear one
When visiting Ford’s factory in Michigan in May, Trump remarked that he doesn’t want to give the press the “pleasure” of seeing him wear one.
He said: “I had one on before.
“I wore one in the back area.
“I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
In contrast, staff at the White House have been required to wear them, as well as getting daily coronavirus tests.
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