Mitt Romney ‘can’t wait’ to get the vaccine

The Utah senator urges people to not get lax now, when help is on the way.

(AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, arrives to join Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

While 42% of Americans say they will not take a COVID-19 vaccine, Sen. Mitt Romney declared Friday that he isn’t one of them.

“I can’t wait to take the vaccine,” Romney said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune.

“I’m anxious to be able to go places without a mask and to be in an airplane without worrying about getting COVID, being able to be with my grandkids again,” he said.

Romney has been a critic of President Donald Trump for sending mixed messages about the seriousness of COVID-19 — and the senator is being clear that he feels the vaccine is important.

On Thursday, for example, Romney said on the PBS Newshour, that because of Trump’s mixed messages, “I think people have been confused. And the result of that has been a number of folks have taken actions which have spread the virus.”

He said it helped make wearing a mask political, instead of a public health measure. “That was just the wrong way to go. And that was one of the things that contributed to the extraordinarily record number of deaths and hospitalizations that you’re seeing today.”

Romney told The Tribune on Friday that ending the pandemic requires doing the right thing, including wearing a mask, social distancing and taking advantage of the vaccine when available.

“I think that given the fact we’re close to having a vaccine in place, and that we have exercised such restraint over the past nine months, that they’re becoming lax right now would be a big mistake.”

He added, “I know we’re all getting tired of the restrictions that we placed on ourselves. But if we can keep them in place for the next 30, 60, 90 days, we will be able to be safe and healthy and we won’t pass along the sickness.”