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What does septuagenarian Mitt Romney think people his age should do to dodge COVID-19?

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks with KSL’s Doug Wright during an interview in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, the day after he voted to convict President Donald Trump on one impeachment count.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is interviewed in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney encouraged people over 70 to consider self-quarantine to insulate themselves from COVID-19.

“All seniors, especially those like me who are over 70, must take every precaution: We are the ones most likely to suffer the most severe complications from COVID-19 that will overwhelm the health care system. Please, follow strict social-distancing and even consider self-quarantine,” he said in social media posts.

Romney turned 73 this past Thursday.

Though he has not put himself in isolation, he’s limiting social contact as much as he can, while still performing his necessary responsibilities as a senator, according to his office. He has told his Washington, D.C., staff to work from home.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., announced a self-imposed quarantine Thursday after potentially making contact with a Brazilian delegate who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, extended his self-quarantine to March 17 after he said he had a second interaction with a person found to have COVID-19.

A staff member in Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Washington, D.C., office was diagnosed with coronavirus earlier this week, the first known confirmed case on Capitol Hill.

Also Friday, Romney joined a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation to safeguard the country’s medical supply chain and address shortages due its dependence on foreign-made medical equipment. 

“With recent reports of drug shortages, the outbreak of the coronavirus highlights the extent of United States’ reliance on foreign-manufactured pharmaceuticals and the risk that poses to our health and safety,” he said.

About 40% of drugs and 80% of active pharmaceutical ingredients are manufactured overseas, mostly in China and India.

The coronavirus outbreak highlighted public health and national security vulnerabilities stemming from the nation’s reliance on foreign manufacturing and the shortcomings in U.S. oversight of global supply chains.

Late last month, the Food and Drug Administration announced the first coronavirus-related drug shortage, and on Tuesday the agency stopped its routine overseas inspections of drugs and devices.

The bill would direct the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to assess U.S. dependence on medication and medical devices and equipment made in foreign countries and develop a plan to protect the supply chain.