Romney urges sweeping vaccine plan as U.S. surpasses 20 million COVID-19 cases
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Mitt Romney on Friday urged the U.S. government to immediately enlist veterinarians, combat medics and others in an all-out national campaign to administer coronavirus vaccinations and slow a surging rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
The Utah Republican, who ran unsuccessfully for president as his party’s nominee in 2012, called for greater action as the Trump administration fell far short of its goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans with a first of two required doses by the end of 2020.
As of Friday, the first day of the new year, an estimated 2.8 million vaccine doses have actually been given, mostly to front-line healthcare workers as well as staff and residents of nursing facilities.
“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,” Romney said in a statement.
The United States has lost more than 345,000 lives from COVID-19 to date, equal to one in every 950 Americans, and ranks 16th in national per capita coronavirus deaths in the world.
Meanwhile, the tally of known U.S. infections reached another sober milestone on Friday, surpassing 20 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients exceeded 125,000, setting a daily record once more.