Trump to visit maker of swabs for coronavirus tests in Maine

GUILFORD, Maine (AP) — President Donald Trump is paying a visit to Maine on Friday to a manufacturer of specialized swabs used in testing for the coronavirus.

Puritan Medical Products, which is one of only two major manufacturers of the swabs, is in the process of opening a second production site with a goal of roughly doubling monthly production from 21.6 million swabs per month to 40 million per month by August or September.

The Trump administration is providing $75.5 million through the Defense Production Act to boost production. The Guilford-based company hopes to have the second production facility in Pittsfield running by July 1.

Word of the visit came during a discussion between Trump and governors Monday following a weekend of demonstrations, some violent, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills expressed concerns about “security problems” in light of the racial unrest. She asked the president about intelligence on protesters that he said he possessed.

About 300 people in Maine’s largest city marched on Sunday, blocking traffic and leaving graffiti at the police headquarters.

But that was mild in comparison to destruction caused by protests elsewhere around the country.

Demonstrators were outraged by video that showed Floyd was pinned to pavement by a police officer who put his knee on the handcuffed black’s man neck. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Trump urged governors to crack down on protesters: “You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again.”

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