Trump refuses to wear mask because he's worried about looking bad in attack ads

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Trump recently came under fire for not wearing a mask at a mask-making plant  — against the plant's rules and his administration's own guidance.

Donald Trump is refusing to wear a mask in public because he fears it will make him "look ridiculous" and will be used by his opponents in attack ads in the 2020 election, according to an Associated Press report.

Trump has come under fire for not wearing a mask during a visit to a mask-making plant in Arizona on Tuesday. Not wearing a mask went against the recommendation of his own administration — which advises Americans to wear masks in public settings — as well as the rules of the plant, which required all visitors and employees to don protective face coverings.

Trump on Wednesday claimed that he did wear a mask behind the scenes during his visit to the Honeywell plant, though there is not proof of that.

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"I put — I had a mask on for a period of time," Trump said when asked by reporters why he didn't follow plant rules.

When reporters replied that they did not see Trump ever have a mask on, he said he took it off because he was told by company officials that he did not have to wear a face covering.

"Well, I can't help it if you didn't see me," Trump said. "I mean, I had a mask on, but I didn't need it. And I asked specifically the head of Honeywell: 'Should I wear a mask?' And he said, 'Well, you don’t need one in this territory. And as you know, we were far away from people, from the people making the masks. They were making the masks."

However, officials working closely with Trump told the AP that Trump doesn't want to wear a mask because he fears it will make him look bad.

An unnamed aide also told the AP that Trump thinks wearing a mask would "send the wrong message" to Americans as he seeks to reopen the economy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who has worn masks in public — criticized Trump for not wearing a mask over concerns about his appearance.

"It’s a vanity thing, I guess, with him, I don't know why he would be vain," Pelosi told MSNBC. "You'd think, as the president of the United States, you would have the confidence to honor the guidance that you're giving others in the country."

Public health experts say wearing a mask can help protect people from passing the virus on to others.

Trump and those he comes in contact with are reportedly frequently tested for the coronavirus, which is one excuse Trump and other members of his administration, including Mike Pence, have made when they were caught not wearing masks.

However, one of Trump's personal valet drivers tested positive for the virus, CNN reported Thursday, suggesting testing is not a foolproof way of staying virus-free.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.