Does Collins still think Trump “did a lot that was right” in the fight against COVID-19?

As Susan Collins hid in Washington DC and hosted a high dollar fundraiser that benefitted Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, a new report from USA Today reveals that all the swabs produced during his visit to Puritan Medical Products, which are crucial for coronavirus testing, will have to be tossed in the trash. The news adds to the growing evidence that Donald Trump’s visit to Maine was merely a thinly disguised political rally, a visit which Susan Collins attempted to distance herself from as she faces the toughest re-election campaign in her career.

While Maine leaders and editorial boards told the president not to come to Maine, Collins stayed silent. Instead of challenging the President and telling him to cancel his trip, Collins hid out in Washington and cashed special interest checks. She's changed, and while she will likely tell us she's disappointed, she's ultimately defended the president, credited him for doing "a lot that was right" on the coronavirus, and may still vote for him in November.

Donald Trump’s woefully inadequate testing plan has already resulted in the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression. And now, even as the ongoing pandemic has taken the lives of more than 100,000 Americans, including nearly 100 Maine people, Trump’s visit today undermined the essential work Maine’s frontline workers are doing to produce badly needed testing supplies.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful that Donald Trump used Maine frontline workers producing swabs as a backdrop for a political rally while the company will be forced to discard the essential coronavirus testing supplies,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “Today, Trump made a mockery of these hardworking Mainers for political gain and rather than holding him accountable, Susan Collins hid from Maine people.”


USA TODAY: As Trump touts increased production, coronavirus swabs made during his Maine factory tour will be tossed in the trash

By: John Fritze

June 5, 2020

Key Points:


  • President Donald Trump traveled to Maine Friday to tour a facility that makes medical swabs used for coronavirus testing, but manufactured in the background during his visit will ultimately be thrown in the trash.


  • Puritan Medical Products, the company Trump visited, said it will have to discard the swabs, a company spokeswoman told USA TODAY in response to questions about the visit.   


  • It is not clear why the swabs will be scrapped and how many swabs will be discarded. The company described its manufacturing plans for Friday as "limited" anyway – but the disruption comes as public health officials in Maine and other states have complained that a shortage of swabs has hampered their ability to massively scale up coronavirus testing.


  • Nearly a third of Maine nursing homes reported last month they had no nasal swabs to collect specimens, the Portland Press Herald reported. Nearly 61% of those that responded to a Maine Medical Directors Association survey said they had seven or fewer at their disposal.


  • "The running of the factory machines is very limited today and will only occur when the president is touring the facility floor," Virginia Templet, the company's marketing manager told USA TODAY in response to questions about the event. "Swabs produced during that time will be discarded."