SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — President Donald Trump is declaring the U.S. ready for whatever the coronavirus threat brings. He’s placing Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the nation’s response.
One coronavirus leader
It’s a move that is drawing the ire of some in Washington, but one that Senator Mitt Romney supports.
“I’m glad the president has put one person in charge,” he explains. “I think it’s very important to have someone who can cut through all the bureaucracy that exists agency to agency.”
Where’s the money?
His applause stop there, though. Romney is joining some Democrats in Congress saying that more money is needed to fund general prevention.
“I think a number of folks, including myself, think that we should allocate more resources to it,” he says. “Buy the equipment that we would need, the isolation units and so forth.”
The White House is requesting $2.5 billion dollars in emergency funding to deal with the outbreak, which some have criticized, calling it “woefully insufficient.”
According to Romney, the appropriate amount of funds need to be available to fight not the disease as it stands, but rather what it could become.
“In the words of the CDC, it’s inevitable that it’ll come here with community transmission,” says Senator Romney. “But it doesn’t have to be something that shuts down schools and churches.”
It becomes even more vital given the current shortage of everyday health essentials.
“We just haven’t stockpiled the kinds of protective gear that I wish we had for our medical personnel and we would have for our general public,” explains Senator Romney. “If you want to try and buy a facemask you’ll find that it’s a little difficult these days.”
With that being said, he’s fighting off the notion that a national emergency is justified and it’s time to panic.
“Of course, we very much hope that what’s going on in many countries around the world is not going to come in a significant way to our country,” he explains. “Most likely, we will get more cases, almost certainly we’re going to get more cases, in the United States.”