As he walked the floor of the Fujifilm factory with company executives, Trump could be seen wearing the same navy blue facial covering with a presidential seal that he sported at the Walter Reed military hospital near Washington earlier this month.
The president has embraced wearing masks in recent weeks, pulling it out of his pocket at the rebooted coronavirus briefings and calling it an act of patriotism after mocking opponent Joe Biden for wearing one in May.
Trump was in Morrisville to visit Fujifilm’s Diosynth Biotechnologies innovation center where researchers are currently manufacturing a Novavax COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The company has been awarded a $252 million contract to expand the country’s vaccine manufacturing capabilities as officials grow increasingly confident they will have a successful treatment available by the end of this year.
“We will achieve a victory over the virus by unleashing American scientific genius,” Trump said during a briefing at the Fujifilm facility.
“We’ve shaved years off of the time that it takes to develop a vaccine — in some cases, many years — and we’ve done it while maintaining the FDA gold standard for safety,” he continued.
North Carolina is also shaping up to be a battleground state at the November presidential election, with a Fox News poll released last month showing Biden leading in the ruby red state.