A representative of Puritan Medical Products did not say explicitly that the action was due to Trump’s lack of protective gear during his tour on Friday, but no other explanation was offered. The swabs are being tossed as manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand for the critical for COVID-19 testing components.
“The running of the factory machines ... will only occur when the president is touring the facility floor,” the company’s marketing manager, Virginia Temple, told the newspaper. “Swabs produced during that time will be discarded.”
Temple did not specify how many swabs would be thrown out.
During his appearance at the Puritan factory in Guilford, Trump made a few remarks to workers, posed for photos, and put his arm around an employee — then noting, “I’m not supposed to do that,” and waving his hand dismissively. (Check out the video up top.)
Trump wore no face mask nor any other protective gear, which is typical for him, despite recommendations to the contrary by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He stopped to talk to employees — who were wearing white lab coats, masks, gloves, goggles, hair coverings and plastic booties — while they were working with the sterile swabs.
There was no immediate comment from the White House about the discarded swabs.