The Slatest

Trump Responds to News Mitt Romney Is in Self-Quarantine: “Gee, That’s Too Bad”

Donald Trump holds his hand up near his face while talking.
President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Sunday.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Two Republican senators are self-quarantining after Sen. Rand Paul became the first senator to test positive for the new coronavirus. And President Donald Trump seemed to make light of the situation as he appeared to enjoy that Sen. Mitt Romney is one of them. “Romney’s in isolation?” Trump asked reporters at a news conference Sunday. “Gee. That’s too bad.” The reporter asked the president if he could “detect sarcasm” in his voice. “No,” Trump answered. “None whatsoever.”

Trump also said he thought “it was quite a while ago” that he had his last contact with Paul.

Trump has repeatedly sparred with Romney, particularly after the Utah senator became the lone Republican to vote to convict him of abuse of power last month.

Romney and Sen. Mike Lee, also of Utah, said they would self-quarantine Sunday after news of Paul’s diagnosis. Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, and Rick Scott, R-Florida, are also in self-quarantine after contact with individuals who tested positive.

Many were decidedly not amused by Trump’s apparent sarcasm in relation to coronavirus self-isolation. “Super funny joke!” wrote MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “One of our incredible colleagues died from this on Friday.”

For more on the impact of the coronavirus, listen to What Next.