President Trump traveled to Michigan Thursday to visit a Ford plant converted to making ventilators, and thanked employees for their efforts to help save Americans’ lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With your help, not a single American has been denied a ventilator, not a single one,” Trump said during the campaign-style appearance at the Rawsonville plant in 2020 battleground Michigan.

The president said he wore a protective face mask — which photos of the event showed had a presidential seal — while touring the plant but took it off before he spoke to workers.

“I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Trump said, later donning one of the protective face shields also used at the plant.

Asked about the Ford executives wearing masks, which the company requires workers to wear, he said it’s “their choice.”

The president also mourned victims of the pandemic, which has claimed nearly 85,000 American lives, and praised health care workers.

“As one people, we hold in our hearts the precious memory of every person that we have lost. We have lost too many, one is too many. As one grateful nation, we proclaim god bless our health care workers. They are like warriors,” he said.

Trump has urged states to loosen coronavirus-related restrictions so the battered US economy can recover even as public health experts warn that premature relaxation of restrictions could lead to a second wave of deadly infections.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat seen as a potential vice presidential running mate for presumptive presidential challenger Joe Biden, is facing a backlash from some critics against her stay-at-home orders in a state hit hard by the last recession even though polls show most residents support her handling of the pandemic.

Trump on Wednesday threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan over its plan for expanded mail-in voting, saying without offering evidence that the practice could lead to voter fraud – and said Thursday the threat was still on the table, though he declined to say what funding could be cut.

Whitmer told a news conference she spoke with Trump on Wednesday and he pledged federal support in the recovery from flooding caused by dam failures.

“I made the case that, you know, we all have to be on the same page here. We’ve got to stop demonizing one another and really focus on the fact that the common enemy is the virus. And now it’s a natural disaster,” Whitmer told CBS News, describing her conversation with Trump.

Trump praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s and the Army Corp of Engineers’ efforts to mitigate the damage during his remarks, and said he would visit the stricken areas.

Regarding Trump’s funding threat, Whitmer said, “Threatening to take money away from a state that is hurting as bad as we are right now is just scary, and I think something that is unacceptable.”

Earlier Thursday, Whitmer announced more steps to re-open the state’s economy on Thursday, offering timelines for the resumption of some businesses and allowing some social gatherings as long as guidelines to curb the spread of the coronavirus are observed.

In a news briefing on Thursday morning, Whitmer said effective immediately people could meet in groups of up to 10, so long as they observed social distancing restrictions.

Retail stores and auto showrooms can resume operations by appointment beginning on May 26, while increased veterinarian, dental, and medical services will be allowed starting May 29.

“We’ve taken significant steps forward to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly over the past few weeks. Now we are going to take some time to ensure that these new measures are working,” Whitmer said.

With Post wires

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