President Trump on Thursday said he removed his face mask during a tour of a Ford plant in Michigan because he "didn’t want to give the press the pleasure” of seeing him wearing the protective covering.

The state of play: Trump said he kept a mask on during a private portion of the tour, but took it off once in-view of the press. An open letter from Michigan’s attorney general warned that it was “the law of this state" to wear a mask.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that people wear facial coverings when in public to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Michigan currently has one of the highest case counts in the U.S., with 53,512 positive tests and 5,129 deaths.

What he's saying: The president noted that he is regularly tested for the virus, as recently as Thursday morning.

  • "I had [a mask] on in an area where they preferred it," Trump said.
  • When asked about the example his choice sets for Americans, Trump responded: "I think it sets an example. I think it sets an example both ways."
  • During Thursday's visit, Trump pushed to ease social-distancing restrictions. He blamed Democrats for stalling the economy, saying they were “hurting their states."

Between the lines: White House rules now require staff to wear masks while in the West Wing, though Trump has largely refused to wear one publicly amid the pandemic.

  • Multiple White House staffers have tested positive for the virus, including Trump's valet.

Vice President Mike Pence has also scarcely worn a mask in public. He wore one while touring a General Motors plant in Indiana after receiving backlash following a visit to the Mayo Clinic.

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Updated 14 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Driving the news: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.

Updated Aug 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests negative for coronavirus after positive result

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) tested negative for the coronavirus after initially testing positive earlier Thursday, his office announced.

Why it matters: 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol.

Trump defends idea of accepting Republican nomination at White House

President Trump on Wednesday defended the idea of delivering his Republican nomination speech from the White House, claiming it would save "tremendous amounts of money for the government in terms of security and traveling."

Why it matters: A number of Republicans, not to mention Democrats, have questioned both the optics and the legality of Trump delivering his acceptance speech from the White House, given past presidents have drawn a firm line between the White House and presidential campaigns.