A crowd of President Donald Trump’s supporters have rushed at his motorcade in a cheering mob, many without masks as they defied coronavirus social distancing recommendations in shocking scenes from Pennsylvania.
Trump was traveling in the state on Thursday visiting the Owens & Minor Inc. factory, a medical distribution facility that has sent millions of N95 masks and other protective gear to hospitals and health care workers across the country.
Hundreds of Trump supporters, many of them waving flags or holding campaign signs and flags, lined the motorcade route to the plant in Upper Macungie Township, a suburb of Allentown in the Lehigh Valley region.
At the plant itself, there were thousands of Trump supporters, almost all of them holding up their phones to record the moment, as they crowded together chanting ‘USA’ and ‘Four more years’. Dozens rushed in for a closer look at the motorcade as it entered the plant grounds, KYW-TV reported.
President Donald Trump gestures to supporters as his motorcade to drives past on Thursday in Allentown, Pennsylvania
At one point in the motorcade route, Trump’s supporters bum-rushed the motorcade in excitement
People line the side of the road waiting for the motorcade with President Donald Trump to drive past on Thursday
While some of the president’s supporters were seen wearing masks, the vast majority were not
Supporters line the side of the road waiting for the motorcade of President Donald Trump to drive past on Thursday
Only a small number of the crowd numbers were observed to be wearing face coverings or masks.
In the factory, Trump himself did not wear a mask, marking the second time he wasn’t pictured with a facial covering as he traveled outside of the White House.
In his remarks to the workers, Trump praised them for social distancing but expressed nostalgia for the age before it was required.
‘All that social distancing. Look at you people all spread out six feet. That’s pretty impressive. But we like it the old way a little bit better don’t we?,’ he said.
People gather outside as US President Donald Trump visits medical supply distributor Owens and Minor Inc. in Allentown
Supporters line the side of the road waiting for President Donald Trump’s motorcade to drive past on Thursday
A man salutes as President Donald Trump’s motorcade drives past on Thursday in Pennsylvania
A pretzel vendor works the crowd as supporters gather outside the warehouse for Trump’s visit
The workers wore matching neon green/yellow company T-shirts with ‘Empowering our customers to advance healthcare’ on the backs. All wore face masks.
The president, in a rare moment of personal reflection, mentioned his older brother Fred, who died in 1981 at the age of 42 from complications due to alcoholism.
Trump noted his brother attended the nearby LeHigh University.
‘When ever I think of this area I think of my brother,’ he said.
But he quickly pivoted to some of his more popular political talking points, treating the event more like a campaign rally. The music playing was the same play list that airs at his rallies.
Trump complained the Obama administration left him ill equipped to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The cupboards were bare,’ he said.
President Trump made the trip to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to thank workers and did not wear a mask
Factory workers listening to the president’s remarks wore masks and sat six feet apart
Supporters gather outside the warehouse of medical equipment distributor Owens & Minor prior to a visit by Trump
Supporters gather outside the warehouse of medical equipment distributor Owens & Minor during a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump during the coronavirus outbreak, in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Protesters gather outside the warehouse to express their opposition to Trump amid a crowd of his supporters
He also got a hit in at former vice president Joe Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Trump attacked him with his favorite moniker ‘Sleepy Joe Biden.’
He attacked Biden’s role leading the Obama administration’s response to the N1H1 epidemic, better known as the swine flu.
‘Most of the N95 were distributed during the N1H1 — now you know who says that right? Who says N1H1? Sleepy Joe Biden,’ Trump said.
There was scattered laughter among the factory workers.
Trump spoke in a massive warehouse, with wire shelves piled high all the way to the top with medical and cleaning supplies in cardboard boxes of varying sizes.
There was a giant American flag hanging down from the framework at the roof at one end of the building.
A crowd of people look on as the motorcade carrying President Donald Trump passes on the way to a tour of Owens & Minor
Hundreds of Trump supporters, many of them waving flags or holding campaign signs and flags, lined the motorcade route to the plant in Upper Macungie Township
Pennsylvania is a state crucial to the president’s re-election. He narrowly won it in 2016
In Pennsylvania, Trump added to the pressure Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is under from home-state Republicans to roll back stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns
Pennsylvania is a state crucial to the president’s re-election. He narrowly won it in 2016.
It was Trump’s second trip outside Washington in as many weeks as tries to convince the public that it’s time for states to begin to open up again, even with the virus still spreading.
Trump´s remarks came as federal whistleblower Rick Bright testified before a House panel on Thursday about his repeated efforts to jump-start U.S. production of respirator masks that he says went nowhere.
In Pennsylvania, Trump added to the pressure Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is under from home-state Republicans to roll back stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns after effectively containing the state´s outbreak early on.
‘We have to get your governor of Pennsylvania to start opening things up a bit,’ Trump said during a speech at the warehouse. Trump claimed some places in the state had been ‘barely affected.’