ARIZONA NEWS

President Trump spends day in Phoenix, tours plant making masks

May 5, 2020, 1:01 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm
President Donald Trump arrives in Phoenix, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 where he was to speak during a roun...

President Donald Trump arrives in Phoenix, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 where he was to speak during a roundtable on supporting Native Americans and participate in a tour of a Honeywell International plant that manufactures personal protective equipment, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PHOENIX – President Donald Trump spent Tuesday in Phoenix to discuss Native American affairs and visit an aerospace facility that started making protective equipment for health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

After more than a month cooped up in Washington, Trump spent about three hours in Phoenix touring a Honeywell plant that produces N95 masks and holding a roundtable on Native American issues.

He also signed a proclamation that aims to bring awareness to violence in Native American communities.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was on the tarmac to greet the president when Air Force One touched down at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport just after noon, about 20 minutes behind schedule.

Sen. Martha McSally and Reps. Paul Gosar and Debbie Lesko were on board with the president on the flight from Washington.

Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs planned to join the group for the Honeywell tour.

Several hundred fans of the president waved Trump flags, donned red hats and cheered as the plane touched down. Several groups of dozens of people were crowded together on street corners outside the Honeywell campus that hosted Trump next to the Phoenix airport.

The president’s motorcade arrived at the Honeywell plant, where the Native American roundtable was to precede the tour, just before 12:30 p.m.

Trump did not wear a mask despite guidelines saying they should be worn inside the factory at all times.

Trump had said he would don a face mask if the factory was “a mask environment,” but in the end he wore only safety goggles during a tour of the Honeywell facility.

Nearly all factory workers and members of the press as well as some White House staff and Secret Service agents wore masks. Senior White House staff and Honeywell executives did not.

“The people of our country should think of themselves as warriors. We have to open,” Trump declared as he left Washington on a trip that was more about the journey than the destination.

White House aides said it would be worth the nearly eight hours of flight time as a symbolic show that the nation is beginning to reopen.

The trip was expected to be a marker of Trump’s return to a regular travel schedule, as he hopes the nation, too, will begin to emerge from seven weeks of virus-imposed isolation.

Trump sees economic revival as a political imperative, as his allies have noted an erosion in support for the president in recent weeks. Republicans believe Trump’s path to a second term depends on the public’s perception of how quickly the economy rebounds from shutdowns meant to slow the spread of the virus.

That includes in Arizona, a key swing state, which Trump carried by less than four points in 2016.

“I love Arizona. I have a lot of friends in Arizona. I’ve had great success over the years in Arizona,” Trump said before he left Washington.

The trip came as Trump seeks to pivot his focus away from the virus’ spread and toward more familiar — and, aides hope, safer — ground: talking up the economy. As more states have begun to ease closure orders, despite warnings that that could lead to spikes in new cases, Trump has been trying to highlight his administration’s work in helping businesses and employees rebound.

“I’m not saying anything is perfect, and yes, will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” he said.

To that point, aides said the president would be holding more frequent roundtables with CEOs, business owners and beneficiaries of the trillions of dollars in federal aid already approved by Congress, and begin to outline what he hopes to see in a future “phase four” recovery package.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Spectators, wearing face masks, await the landing of Air Force One into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  General view of the Honeywell mask factory where US President Donald Trump will visit and hold a roundtable on Native American issues on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One taxies on the runway at Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One lands into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Spectators take photos as Air Force One prepares to land into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Spectators take photos as Air Force One prepares to land into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One taxies on the runway at Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One taxies on the runway at Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One lands into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One lands into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One lands into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One lands into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One taxies on the runway at Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 05:  Air Force One lands into Sky Harbor Airport on May 05, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. US President Donald Trump is visiting Arizona to tour a Honeywell mask factory and hold a roundtable on Native American issues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 
              President Donald Trump arrives in Phoenix, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 where he will speak during a roundtable on supporting Native Americans and participate in a tour of a Honeywell International plant that manufactures personal protective equipment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
            President Donald Trump arrives in Phoenix, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 where he will speak during a roundtable on supporting Native Americans and participate in a tour of a Honeywell International plant that manufactures personal protective equipment, (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) President Donald Trump talks with members of the traveling press before departing Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Trump is heading to Arizona and is expected to tour Honeywell International's mask-making operation in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) President Donald Trump walks to speak with members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) 
              President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            President Donald Trump gestures from the top of the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Trump is heading to Arizona and is expected to tour Honeywell International's mask-making operation in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: (L-R) White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, Social Media Director Dan Scavino and Senior Advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner walk across the South Lawn before departing the White House with President Donald Trump May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: U.S. President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn before boarding Marine One and departing the White House May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists as he departs the White House May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists as he departs the White House May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists as he departs the White House May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists as he departs the White House May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) President Donald Trump talks to journalists as he departs the White House May 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Phoenix, Arizona to tour a Honeywell International's face mask production operation, which has increased manufacturing capabilities of N95 respirators in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) President Donald Trump walks to speak with members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) President Donald Trump talks with members of the traveling press before departing Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Trump is heading to Arizona and is expected to tour Honeywell International's mask-making operation in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) 
              President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
            President Donald Trump gestures from the top of the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Trump is heading to Arizona and is expected to tour Honeywell International's mask-making operation in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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President Trump spends day in Phoenix, tours plant making masks