TRUMP - FORD - MASKS
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. has told the White House it 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 a Detroit-area plant tomorrow.
Trump, who is to tour a factory repurposed to make medical breathing machines near Detroit, has habitually refused to wear a mask at the White House and in recent public appearances.
In a statement, Ford said its policy requires everyone in factories to wear personal protective equipment, including masks, and that policy had been shared with the White House. When asked if the company would require Trump to wear the equipment, spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said, “The White House has its own safety and testing policies in place and will make its own determination.”
Not wearing a mask and even making the visit itself could violate coronavirus restrictions ordered by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has been at odds with Trump.
Her stay-at-home restrictions require people to wear a mask in any “enclosed public space” such as grocery stores, though it isn’t clear if that rule extends to less public operations like factories.
PRO-TRUMP DOCTORS RECRUITED?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican political operatives are recruiting “pro-Trump” doctors to go on TV to prescribe reviving the U.S. economy as quickly as possible, without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
The plan was discussed in a May 11 conference call with a senior staffer for the Trump re-election campaign organized by CNP Action, an affiliate of the GOP-aligned Council for National Policy. A leaked recording of the call was provided to The Associated Press by the Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive watchdog group.
CNP Action is part of the Save Our Country Coalition, an alliance of conservative think tanks and political committees formed in April to end state lockdowns implemented in response to the pandemic. Other members of the coalition include the FreedomWorks Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council and Tea Party Patriots.
A resurgent economy is seen as critical to boosting President Donald Trump’s re-election hopes and has become a growing focus of the White House coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence.
RODEO DRIVE IN BEVERLY HILLS REOPENS TO SHOPPING
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Maseratis, the Rolls-Royces and the Mercedes-Benzes were back on Rodeo Drive yesterday — along with a few high-end buyers — as America's most fashionable shopping street slowly got back to business.
Just a few days after Beverly Hills officials announced the high-end boutiques lining its most exclusive street could reopen for curbside pickup, shoppers began tentatively making their way onto its wide sidewalks and narrow roadway.
They came looking for things like Gucci handbags, Salvatore Ferragomo shoes, Louis Vuitton belts and other items with names that scream out to passers-by, “This is ridiculously expensive.”
One young man pulled up in front of the Fendi store, paid for a pair of shoes and sunglasses that he quickly tossed into the back of his red convertible sports car as he explained they were gifts for his wife, then sped away.
Nearby, Delicia Cordon of Atlanta stood outside the Gucci store looking at purses and backpacks that a salesperson inside sent photos of to her phone. She picked out the perfect ones for her daughter's birthday, punched in her credit-card information and did a quick exchange at the door.
For Cordon, who had to catch a plane home in just a few hours, scoring the purse and backpack was a stroke of good fortune. There's a Gucci store in her hometown, she said, but it doesn't have a children's department. She feared if she ordered online, the gifts wouldn't arrive by her daughter's birthday Friday.
BARBERS OFFERING FREE HAIRCUTS AT MICHIGAN CAPITOL
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Barbers plan to offer free haircuts on the Michigan Capitol lawn today to protest the state's stay-at-home orders, a defiant demonstration that reflects how salons have become a symbol for small businesses eager to reopen two months after the pandemic began.
Third-generation hairdresser Scott Weaver, who owns five salons across Michigan, said his "forgotten industry” is getting much-needed attention after being initially dismissed as “just hair.”
Barbershops, salons and spas stand at the forefront of small businesses that want to reopen despite the risks of their services, which require employees to be in close contact with customers. The coronavirus has contributed to more than 5,000 confirmed deaths in Michigan, the fourth-highest toll in the country. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s closure of nonessential businesses is among the nation’s toughest and is in effect at least through May 28.
SALVAGING TELEGRAPH MACHINE FROM TITANIC
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a salvage firm can retrieve the Marconi wireless telegraph machine that broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic ocean liner.
In an order released Monday, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith agreed that the telegraph is historically and culturally important and could soon be lost within the rapidly decaying wreck site.
Smith writes that recovering the telegraph “will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived, and those who gave their lives in the sinking."
Smith is the maritime jurist who presides over Titanic salvage matters from a federal court in Norfolk. Her ruling modifies a previous judge’s order from 2000 that forbids cutting into the shipwreck or detaching any part of it.
Smith's order is a big win for RMS Titanic Inc., the court-recognized steward of Titanic’s artifacts. The firm recently emerged from bankruptcy and is under new ownership.
The Titanic had been traveling from England to New York when it struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing all but about 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew.
CONN. TROOPER REASSIGNED AFTER VIDEO SURFACES OF HIM BERATING DRIVER
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut state trooper has been reassigned temporarily after a video posted online showing him berating a driver in an expletive-fueled outburst that derided the public and expressed how he can't wait to retire.
The driver also accuses the trooper of threatening to throw him off a bridge, but that couldn’t be verified from the video because both men were outside the car and the audio is hard to hear because of traffic noise.
The state police commander announced yesterday that the trooper is now on paid administrative duty, with no contact with the public, pending an internal affairs investigation.
The commander didn’t name the trooper, but the video shows his name tag, which identifies him as Matthew Spina.