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Trump’s Factory Tours Could Be Putting Workers, Local Areas at Risk, Experts Say

Public health experts warn that the president's coronavirus-themed trips to swing states could bring a higher risk of the virus to the communities he visits

In this May 14, 2020, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks after taking a tour of medical supply distributor Owens and Minor Inc. in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

As President Donald Trump makes his third coronavirus-themed trip to a battleground state in as many weeks, some experts are expressing concern that the visits could put communities at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Even though additional precautions have been undertaken by the White House, public health experts and aides in previous administrations warn that it is nearly impossible to eliminate all risk of exposure during such trips. Those who have planned similar trips for past presidents also warn of the massive footprints the swings cover and the huge burden they place on local governments, many of which are already stretched thin because of the pandemic.

"The White House is a potential hot zone for COVID — aides and valets close to the president are diagnosing positive," said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and global health policy expert who is an NBC News and MSNBC contributor.

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Any trip outside the Washington area involves hundreds of traveling advisers, security staff members, logistical experts and journalists. Typically, advance staffers arrive several days early to prepare, often staying in local hotels and eating at local restaurants.

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