Romney says coronavirus stockpiling should have begun “decades ago”

Mar 4, 2020, 1:32 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:04 am
Senator Mitt Romney says Congress should have been stockpiling medical supplies "decades ago" in an...
Senator Mitt Romney says Congress should have been stockpiling medical supplies "decades ago" in anticipation of a virus outbreak. (Photo: KSL File)
(Photo: KSL File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Senator Mitt Romney remains critical of Congress and its perceived lack of preparation to handle a potential coronavirus outbreak.

Medical supply shortage

The Senator’s biggest complaint is a shortage of everyday medical supplies such as masks, gowns, and goggles.

“I went on Amazon and looked to see if I could buy some masks for me and my family,” he said. “And the answer is no.”

A number of shortages have been reported as people start to stock up as threats of an expanded outbreak continue to grow.

According to Romney, it’s not good enough to simply react once the coronavirus becomes a bigger problem in America. He says the nation should have been expecting such an outbreak.

“That’s a mistake of Congress not having appropriated money to do so over the last decade or two,” said Romney.

On Tuesday, Romney questioned public health officers with the Center for Disease Control about preparedness to handle a potential pandemic.

During that meeting, Dr. Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said the nation would need 3.5 billion N95 respirator masks. Right now there are around 35 million.

“I’ve been concerned,” Romney noted. “It strikes me that we should have substantially more than 10% of what would be needed for a substantial pandemic. We should have that in stock.”

Coronavirus vaccine

Another topic of discussion is the possible production of a vaccine. Health experts are saying that it remains a work in progress.

“Well, there are several companies that believe they’re on the right track to having a vaccine that will work,” said Romney. “But that has to be tested to make sure it’s safe and to make sure it’s effective.”

In terms of a timeline, having it available to the American public remains a “long-term” goal.

“We will not have a vaccine, we’re told by the people responsible for these kinds of things, for at least probably a year or a year and a half,” he said.

One area where Romney is applauding the government is the amount of money going to fund a response.

The dollar figure attached to a federal emergency bill is being beefed up to roughly $8 billion, more than three times the amount that was previously being discussed. 

Today’s Top Stories


Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin is taking a political action committee and three television sta...
Michael Houck,

Evan McMullin sues super PAC, three Utah news stations for defamatory ad

Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin (I) is taking a political action committee and three television stations to court for a defamatory ad.
20 hours ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
Aimee Cobabe

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Utah case involving bump stocks

A Utah court case involving bump stocks will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court declined to say why it won't take up the case.
2 days ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
The Associated Press

Supreme Court’s top cases for new term, new Justice Jackson

Already the Supreme Court has said it will decide cases on a range of major issues including affirmative action, voting rights and the rights of LGBTQ people.
2 days ago
Lisa Garner. Photo credit Draper City....
Mark Jones

Lisa Garner has support of Draper mayor to become next city judge

Draper Mayor Troy Walker is seeking the appointment of Lisa Garner as the city's next judge. The appointment must be approved by the city council on Oct. 4.
5 days ago
US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of th...
Betsy Klein and MJ Lee, CNN

Biden administration kicks off student loan debt forgiveness process

The Biden administration began its efforts aimed at student loan forgiveness on Thursday.
5 days ago
A sign for the Food and Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters in July 2020 in Whi...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

ALS drug gets FDA approval despite uncertainty about effectiveness

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for ALS on Thursday.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Romney says coronavirus stockpiling should have begun “decades ago”