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Read Sen. Romney's comments on America's response to COVID-19

Mitt Romney on Coronavirus
Posted at 2:29 PM, Mar 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mitt Romney spoke to reporters Friday after attending a briefing for lawmakers regarding COVID-19. He answered the following questions:

Reporter: Are you satisfied with the testing in the country based on what you just heard?

Romney: No, I think a lot of people like myself are concerned that we don't have the level of testing that you're seeing in other countries like South Korea. And we wonder why they have several thousand people a day getting tested and we have, you know, a handful.

So, our testing process has been lacking. And, of course, people are also frustrated. They can't find masks, they can't find sanitary wipes for their countertops, they can't find alcohol in the stores for cleansing and making sure that they don't get sick.

So, our system has just not been up to snuff, and I think a lot of people are frustrated by it. I'm one of them.

Reporter: Reporter: What was the explanation given about why there is not the kind of testing that you're looking for?

Romney: The explanation is not satisfactory. The point is made that we have a system that relies upon the private sector, that there have been difficulties getting certain reagents to provide the tests, that we expect the private sector to pick up and get these tests out.

But, of course, expectations and reality have not met.

Reporter: The president said that everybody can get a test who wants one.

Romney: I think people across the country recognize that it's difficult, in some places, to be able to get a test. We don't have anywhere near the kind of testing that's going in other countries, and part of that is the way we do things.

In our country, you've got to go to a doctor. The doctor has to give you a recommendation or a slip to get a test, and then you get it. In places like South Korea, they're able to go into a drive-through clinic and get tested.

So, we just don't have the systems that allow people to get tested as effectively as do other countries.

Reporter: Any comment about when that will happen?

Romney: They said in the next week or two, the comment was made. We've got to be able to have tests that more people would be able to get.