President Donald Trump addressed a pleasant crowd of round 200 at a Guilford producer on Friday applauding employees for his or her efforts in producing swabs utilized in coronavirus testing in an deal with that usually veered right into a marketing campaign speech.
His journey to Maine got here at a pivotal second, because the nation appears to get well from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed greater than 100,000 within the U.S. and anti-racism rallies rage over police killings. Roughly 200 individuals protested on the Bangor airport as Trump landed there, however issues from Gov. Janet Mills that the visit could cause a security issue had been unrealized.
After assembly with former Gov. Paul LePage and signing a proclamation on fisheries, Trump helicoptered to Guilford the place he gave a speech that featured interludes from Puritan Medical Merchandise workers talking in reward of his work as he blended his official go to with politics.
The Republican president, who received one in every of Maine’s 4 electoral votes from the comparatively conservative 2nd District in 2016, mentioned he plans to win the entire state this 12 months.
“Get that different half to go along with Trump,” he mentioned. “There’s a really, crucial election developing.”
Trump touted a Friday jobs report that confirmed an sudden uptick in employment nationwide in Might in comparison with April and warned about immigration whereas repeating criticisms made earlier of Gov. Janet Mills, saying that Maine was not opening its economic system quick sufficient.
He swiped at China, the media and not directly at former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee within the 2020 election in his speech after a tour of the power.
In April, he invoked the Defense Production Act to get Puritan, one of many high worldwide makers of the swabs wanted for virus testing, to extend manufacturing. The corporate will be opening a second factory in Pittsfield in July with $75.5 million in federal cash and can add 150 jobs.
The president mentioned he makes use of the Puritan swabs when he takes a coronavirus take a look at “each different day,” and famous that the US has carried out probably the most assessments of any nation, though some international locations have carried out extra testing on a per capita basis. USA At present reported that swabs made in the course of the president’s tour must be thrown out. The rationale was unclear, although Trump didn’t put on a masks contained in the manufacturing unit.
“We’re doing an important job on the testing and also you’re doing an important job at getting out the swabs,” Trump mentioned.
Earlier within the day, the president held a roundtable dialogue with fishermen the place he additionally signed a proclamation opening a nationwide marine monument off the Gulf of Maine to industrial fishing, although it’s not clear whether or not he has the authority to take action.
Former Gov. Paul LePage joined Trump for the panel at Bangor Worldwide Airport, whereas former Rep. Bruce Poliquin of the 2nd District was with him in Guilford. Notably absent was Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican who visited the brand new Puritan facility in Pittsfield in Might and faces a top-tier problem from Democrats in 2020.
Collins publicly denounced Trump in 2016 however has declined to say whether or not she helps him this 12 months. Her workplace mentioned she held a Zoom name with municipal leaders Friday afternoon, whereas she also participated in a virtual fundraiser.
Trump’s go to was derided by Democrats as a marketing campaign stunt. Mills, who Trump likened to a dictator early within the day, criticized the president’s “lack of management,” saying she wouldn’t take recommendation from him. In an announcement, Biden known as Trump “woefully late” in responding to the virus.
The president’s go to was additionally met with protests in Bangor, although they remained largely peaceable. Within the Bangor Worldwide Airport shuttle lot, 200 individuals gathered, many holding Black Lives Matter indicators, to protest in opposition to Trump’s go to to Maine and his divisive politics.
Protesters unfold out throughout the garden subsequent to the parking zone, and tied giant hand painted banners to the fence of the lot, which instantly faces the airport.
“The message that he not-so subtly at this level propagates — the message of division — is just not welcome in any a part of the nation, and notably not this one,” mentioned Nathaniel Willams, who got here from Westport Island for the demonstration.
BDN author Eesha Pendharkar contributed to this report.
Watch: Trump supporters collect on Water Avenue in Guilford
— to bangordailynews.com