Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) lashed the Trump administration’s poor record on handling COVID-19, saying there was no way to spin the high number of deaths.

“I don’t think we really distinguished ourselves in a very positive way by how we responded to the crisis when it was upon us,” Romney said Friday in an interview with the Sutherland Institute think tank. 

President Donald Trump has said that the death toll “is what it is” — and repeatedly insisted that America’s COVID-19 statistics were impressive.

“It’s been amazing what we’ve been able to do,” Trump said during a press conference last week about his record fighting the pandemic.

9 PHOTOSDonald Trump and Mitt Romney meetSee GalleryDonald Trump and Mitt Romney meetNEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 29: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dine at Jean Georges restaurant, November 29, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks after a dinner meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges inside of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonNEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 29: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dine at Jean Georges restaurant, November 29, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)US President-elect Donald Trump (L) dines with Mitt Romney (R) at Jean-Georges restaurant at Trump International Hotel and Tower, Tuesday, November 29, 2016 in New York.Romney, a favorite among establishment Republicans for being named Secretary of State, met with Trump for their second face-to-face meeting in 10 days. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith(Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sits at a table for dinner with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) and his choice for White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L) at Jean-Georges at theTrump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonU.S. President-elect Donald Trump sits at a table for dinner with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) and his choice for White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L) at Jean-Georges at theTrump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonU.S. President-elect Donald Trump sits at a table for dinner with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) and his choice for White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (L) at Jean-Georges at theTrump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonU.S. President-elect Donald Trump sits at a table for dinner with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) at Jean-Georges inside of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonFormer Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks after a dinner meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Jean-Georges inside of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonUp Next

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Romney took issue with the U.S. death toll, which currently stands at over 170,000. 

“We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s deaths due to COVID-19, and there’s no way to spin that in a positive light,” he said.

The U.S. has just over 4% of the world’s population and nearly 22% of the world’s reported COVID-19 deaths, according to data.)

“From the outset, there was a tendency on the part of the administration to dismiss COVID-19 as a threat not to consider how serious it could become,” said Romney. “There was no immediate action to, if you will, ring all the alarm bells.”

Romney said the federal government should have quickly taken charge by setting safety guidelines, arranging the manufacture of essential supplies and equipment and providing much-needed protective gear.

Check out Romney’s comments in the video above. His criticism of the Trump administration begins at 4:11. 

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