Dec 3, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Romney: Trump's lack of leadership on COVID-19 is "a great human tragedy"

Mitt Romney and President Trump

Sen. Mitt Romney and President Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) told CNN Thursday that President Trump's lack of leadership during the coronavirus pandemic is "a great human tragedy."

Driving the news: Trump has largely stayed silent on the country's worsening pandemic in recent weeks, even as the U.S. experienced a record daily death toll and hospitalizations surpassed 100,000 for the first time. Instead, the president has focused much of his public commentary on pushing baseless claims of widespread election fraud.

What he's saying: "Well, this hasn't been the focus of his rhetoric, apparently, and I think it's a great human tragedy, without question," Romney, who has criticized Trump several times in the past, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer when asked about Trump's leadership.

  • "The extraordinary loss of life is heartbreaking — and in some respects unnecessary. Not all respects, but we've relaxed our standards as individuals," Romney added.
  • "Some states haven't had mask mandates, and from Washington we have not had a constant, consistent plan and plea for people to wear masks, to social-distance, to take all the measures that would reduce the spread of this disease."
  • "It's unfortunate that this became a political issue. It's not political," the senator said.
  • "This is public health, and unfortunately we have not made that message clear enough to the American people, and people are dying because of it."
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