Romney Publicly Shames Trump Over COVID-19 Failures

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) sounds thoroughly dismayed over the disarray of the ongoing effort to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19. Despite the federal government’s goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans with the first installment of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December — which is now, of course, over — the U.S. apparently administered a little less than 2.8 million vaccine doses by the end of the year. A slow vaccination program could drag out the nation’s recovery from the pandemic, as the virus continues to spread, overwhelm hospitals, and claim lives. Romney called the Trump administration’s behavior “inexcusable.”

Romney shared the following remarks:

‘The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is a tribute to the NIH, the FDA and to the professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. But unlike the development of the vaccines, the vaccination process itself is falling behind… That comprehensive vaccination plans have not been developed at the federal level and sent to the states as models is as incomprehensible as it is inexcusable… I know that when something isn’t working, you need to acknowledge reality and develop a plan — particularly when hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake.’

Acknowledging the reality of the situation at hand is a low standard — which the president has failed to meet. Donald Trump has made his own perspective clear — he wants the states to take primary responsibility for carrying out the vaccination effort. As if he doesn’t imagine just about any role for the federal government beyond that of a vaccine delivery service, Trump recently posted the following petulant message on Twitter:

‘The Federal Government has distributed the vaccines to the states. Now it is up to the states to administer. Get moving!’

This issue is the same problem that plagued earlier stages of the pandemic response. Trump has repeatedly insisted on delegating responsibility for dealing with the pandemic to individual states, despite the fact that federal resources could clearly help smooth the process. His commitment to delegating responsibility seems based in some kind of disinterest in the overall situation along with obsession with the public image aspects of current circumstances. Personally, he seems far more concerned with fighting against the election outcome than with formulating new responses to the pandemic, and when he does address the virus, Trump insists on glossing over basic realities at-hand. For instance, in a New Year’s Eve message in which he discussed the pandemic, Trump didn’t even offer a word of condolences to the hundreds of thousands of families in the United States who’ve lost loved ones to the virus.

Featured Image (edited): via Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia Commons, Available Under a Creative Commons License