Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) described President Donald Trump‘s allegations of widespread voter fraud as “damaging America.”

“If he doesn’t have evidence that could convince a court, and if he doesn’t have evidence to convince the American people of widespread voter fraud, then making these accusations is only damaging the cause of freedom and putting people’s lives at risk,” Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Thursday.

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“So, for the president or anyone else to go out and allege widespread fraud and say the election is rigged, and the election was stolen, that obviously strikes at the very foundation of democracy here, and around the world for that matter,” Romney said. “People watch America. If we can’t have a free and fair election, how can they have it in other nations of the world?”

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Unlike the president, Romney acknowledged that he “accepted the fact” former Vice President Joe Biden won the election. Trump meanwhile has refused to concede, instead promoting baseless accusations of voter fraud.

Romney, a frequent and vocal critic of the president, also criticized the president on Thursday for failing to institute a federal face mask mandate.

“It’s unfortunate that this became a political issue. It’s not political,” Romney said Thursday. “This is public health, and unfortunately, we have not made that message clear enough to the American people. And people are dying because of it.”

He continued: “Unless you take this very, very seriously and communicate that this is not a political matter, this is not a matter of liberty, this is a matter of safety and public health and we have people who are very, very sick, many people in the hospital. We have people who have died and are dying. It’s unacceptable.”

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