Romney: U.S. had ‘disappointing’ response to COVID-19 pandemic

Aug 16, 2020, 1:48 PM
Mitt Romney...
FILE - In this June 9, 2020, file photo, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks to reporters as he arrives for the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) criticized the Trump Administration Friday, calling the response to the coronavirus pandemic “very disappointing.” 

This comes as the U.S. continues to lead the world for most COVID-19 deaths, with 169,754 as of Sunday, according to a database by John Hopkins University.  The U.S. also reports the most coronavirus cases, with more than 5.3 million reported. 

“From a health standpoint, certainly the numbers speak for themselves,” Romney said in a video interview with the Sutherland Institute Friday. 

These federal mistakes in the pandemic response were both long term and short term, the senator said. Many oversights began over the course of several presidents and members of Congress. 

“You really have to blame all of us,” Romney said. “Short term, I think it’s fair to say we really have not distinguished ourselves in a positive way by how we responded to the crisis when it was upon us.”

Short-term COVID-19 response

In the short term — meaning how the U.S. reacted once the pandemic entered the country — Romney said the reaction wasn’t immediate enough. Instead, he said the Trump Administration had a “tendency” to “dismiss COVID-19 as a threat.” 

Romney said this caused the administration to overlook “how serious” the pandemic could become. 

“We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s deaths due to COVID-19,” the senator said. “And there’s no way to spin that into a positive light.” 

Some mistakes stem from the past

However, Romney acknowledged there were several long-term mistakes that were made from previous administrations that added fuel to the fire. 

Part of this included the lack of personal protective equipment in the national stockpile. This oversight led to a shortage of PPE in the beginning stages of the pandemic. 

The U.S. also did poorly in preserving the manufacturing capacity needed for providing essential items like face masks, according to Romney. As a result, the country relied on supply chains from China and other countries. 

“Again, any one of the presidents could’ve done that,” he said. ““Frankly, every Congress and every president deserves their share of the blame.”

A victory amid the mistakes

Despite the shortcomings in some aspects, the Utah senator commended the  financial relief Congress was able to pass through the CARES Act. In fact, the Senate unanimously approved the package — which Romney noted was a rare thing to do.  

This $2.2 trillion relief package aided small businesses and families who were struggling because of the pandemic. However, Romney said, the administration could’ve done more to release guidelines on how these businesses could navigate the financial hardships posed by the pandemic. 

Although the federal government moved quickly on the CARES Act, Romney said there were still some “mistakes made” regarding the distribution of the funds. 

Today’s Top Stories


This June 20, 2017, photo provided by Chris Wonderly shows Hovenweep Castle at Hovenweep National M...
Curt Gresseth

Supreme Court widens state power over tribes. What does it mean for Utah?

The director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs discusses the recent US Supreme Court ruling and what it means for tribes in Utah.
1 day ago
Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the oath for the Supreme Court....
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn as the court's 116th justice Thursday, just as the man she is replacing, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires.
1 day ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
1 day ago
The Supreme Court is pictured. The court just limited the EPA...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation's main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
1 day ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, ...

Biden says transatlantic alliance has adapted to new threats

Biden's comments came at a press conference in Madrid at the conclusion of the annual meeting of NATO leaders and after he attended a summit with the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps.
1 day ago
A Rite Aid logo is displayed on its store...

Amazon, Rite Aid cap purchase of emergency contraceptives

Retailers limiting purchases is standard practice that helps retailers prevent stockpiling and reselling at higher prices.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
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.
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.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Romney: U.S. had ‘disappointing’ response to COVID-19 pandemic