Romney slams Trump administration over U.S. coronavirus death toll

Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, listens throughout a Senate Small Business Committee listening to on coronavirus aid support and “Implementation of title I of the CARES Act.”, in Washington, U.S., June 10, 2020.

Al Drago | Reuters

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney criticized the Trump administration’s early response to the coronavirus outbreak on Friday, saying they dismissed the virus as a menace from the outset and didn’t take rapid motion.  

“Short term I think it’s fair to say we (the United States) really have not distinguished ourselves in a positive way by how we responded to the crisis when it was upon us,” Romney stated throughout an interview with the Sutherland Institute. 

Romney, a Republican who has spoken out in opposition to Trump publicly on various points, stated the “proof of the pudding” is obvious within the variety of reported Covid-19 deaths. 

“We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s deaths due to Covid-19, and there’s no way to spin that in a positive light,” he stated.

The U.S. has reported at the very least 168,462 deaths associated to the coronavirus out of the world’s 766,488 fatalities to this point, marking almost 22% of the overall globally, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University knowledge. However, a recent Yale study suggests that the true tally of deaths from Covid-19 may very well be considerably greater than the variety of confirmed deaths. 

While Romney applauded Congress and the administration for shifting rapidly to supply monetary aid within the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, he stated the administration did not instantly “ring all the alarm bells.” They didn’t equitably distribute private protecting gear to each state and have been sluggish to scale manufacturing of the important provides, he stated. 

“The health impact of Covid-19 on our country and our response to it was really very, very disappointing,” Romney stated. 

President Donald Trump has at occasions dismissed the Covid-19 death toll, telling Axios’ Jonathan Swan in an interview performed in late July that the variety of fatalities “is what it is.” During the interview, Trump stated his administration has finished and “incredible” job responding to the pandemic. 

“They are dying. That’s true, and — it is what it is,” Trump stated. “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it,” Trump stated within the interview. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere stated in response to Romney’s feedback that Trump has constructed “the largest public-private partnership not seen since WWII that has sourced critical supplies and PPE for our frontline heroes and developed a robust testing regime from nothing resulting in this country leading the world in testing.”

“He’s always acted on the recommendations of his top public health experts throughout this crisis as evidenced by the many bold, data-driven decisions he has made to save millions of lives,” Deere stated. 

While the U.S. has performed extra checks than most different international locations, current declines in testing have thrown into question the accuracy of the nation’s each day reporting. There have additionally been delays in folks receiving their testing outcomes, in some instances ready weeks earlier than they’re notified. 

Many well being officers say that such long delays make the testing unhelpful relating to monitoring and stopping additional unfold. 

Trump has additionally ceaselessly clashed with recommendation from public well being specialists, together with White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. The president failed to acknowledge the significance of wearing face coverings, although he has not too long ago endorsed the thought, and has repeatedly said the virus “will go away” and that youngsters are “virtually immune.” 

— CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report. 

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