‘I am so happy I can barely speak’: Trump whacks Romney after negative coronavirus test

Donald Trump
3-4 minutes
President Donald Trump. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo
President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to feign mock excitement over Sen. Mitt Romney’s announcement of his negative coronavirus test, tweeting glibly about the global public health threat now bearing down on members of Congress.
Sharing online an article from the alt-right media outlet Breitbart News regarding the Utah Republican’s test results, Trump wrote: “This is really great news! I am so happy I can barely speak. He may have been a terrible presidential candidate and an even worse U.S. Senator, but he is a RINO, and I like him a lot!”
The president’s post came hours after Romney tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that he had tested negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Romney was tested after he came into close contact with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who tested positive and has faced intense criticism for potentially infecting other lawmakers.
Despite Romney’s negative results, he wrote that “guidance from my physician, consistent with the CDC guidelines, requires me to remain in quarantine as the test does not rule out the onset of symptoms during the 14-day period.”
Romney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the president’s tweet. His wife, Ann, has long battled multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease that could make her, like others with underlying conditions, more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Both Romney and Utah’s other senator, Republican Mike Lee, had begun self-quarantining after Paul’s diagnosis on Sunday. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.) is also self-quarantining in Washington after potential exposure earlier this month. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) finished a quarantine period on Monday.
On the other side of the Capitol, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) have tested positive for COVID-19 after developing symptoms last weekend. House members are largely working from home as the crisis escalates and the health risks posed by colleagues become more urgent.
The coronavirus’ outbreak within Washington’s halls of power have winnowed the number of lawmakers present to vote on critical pieces of legislation — including an imminent, nearly $2 trillion stimulus package — and provoked consideration of potential emergency measures such as remote voting to ensure continuity of government throughout the pandemic.
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March 25, 2020
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