Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) criticized the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing record as White House task members testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Tuesday, saying it was “nothing to celebrate, whatsoever.”
A transcript is as follows:
SEN. MITT ROMNEY: I understand politicians are going to frame data in a way that is most positive, politically. Of course, everyone doesn’t expects that from admirals. But yesterday you celebrated that we had done more tests and more tests per capita even than South Korea. You ignored the fact that they accomplished there’s at the beginning of the outbreak, while we treaded water in February and March. And as a result, by March 6, the U.S. had completed just 2,000 tests, whereas South Korea had conducted more than 140,000 tests. Partially as a result of that, the have 256 deaths and we have almost 80,000 deaths. I find our testing record nothing to celebrate, whatsoever. The fact is their test numbers are going down, down, down, because they don’t have the type of outbreak as we have. Ours are going up, up, up, as they have to. I think that’s an important lesson for us as we think about this future.
On a seperate topic, my impression is that, with regards to vaccines, where I’m critical of what we have done at testing, at vaccines we’ve done a pretty darn good job of moving ahead pretty aggressively. And yet the president said the other day that President Obama is responsible for our lack of a vaccine. Dr. Fauci, is President Obama, or by extension President Trump, did they do something that made the likelihood of creating a vaccine less likely? Are either President Trump or President Obama responsible for the fact that we don’t have a vaccine now, or in delaying it in some way?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: No, senator. Not at all. Certainly President Obama nor President Trump are responsible for our not having a vaccine.