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COVID-19 in Arizona: Trump to visit Phoenix mask maker during Ducey stay-home order

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A White House official confirmed Wednesday that President Donald Trump will visit the Phoenix Honeywell facility for an industry event May 5, despite Gov. Doug Ducey extending his stay-at-home order to May 15.

The visit marks the first time the president has traveled outside Washington, D.C., since the end of March.

The visit is meant to highlight the company’s production of essential medical equipment, such as N95 masks, and the addition of 500 manufacturing jobs at the jet engine facility near Sky Harbor International Airport, a White House official told Cronkite News.

“The president is always welcome in Arizona,” Ducey said at a news conference Wednesday, acknowledging that Trump often attracts large crowds. At Trump’s most recent campaign rally Feb. 19, 10,000 gathered in Phoenix to cheer the president and a couple hundred more gathered outside. The Honeywell event will not be open to the public.

Ducey encouraged people not to gather for next week’s visit, but when asked whether he would break up potential crowds, he only offered, “I’m asking people to stay home, stay healthy and stay connected.”

Honeywell manufactures supply chain, building technology and aerospace products but announced in late March it would make N95 masks to help meet heavy demand.

As of Thursday, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 7,648 cases of COVID-19 and 320 deaths in the state. It said 71,786 tests for COVID-19 have been completed April 30 in public and private labs in Arizona, and 9% of tests have come back positive for the virus that causes the disease.

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