(CNN) -- Former White House national security adviser John Bolton on Wednesday torched the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, leveling that that the lack of a national strategy has prompted "one mistake after another."
"They've made a complete mess of it, and it's been a tragedy for Americans, those who have died and their families, the economic consequences," Bolton told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead."
"To this day, the administration does not have a coronavirus strategy. Now, they may yet get the benefit of it. Recent polls apparently show concern with the virus diminishing as a political matter, so they may be able to tough their way through it. But it's just been one mistake after another."
His comments come in the middle of the Republican National Convention where the Trump campaign has sought to gloss over the President's delayed response to the pandemic that has now claimed at least 178,000 American lives, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The party wanted to take that issue "head on," according to event organizers. In a video, the RNC misrepresented Trump's attitude toward the virus, repeating a flurry of falsehoods about the US response even as the country remains the world's leader in total cases and deaths.
But the lack of acknowledgment about the reality of the pandemic isn't the only item that's brought scrutiny to the Republican's convention.
On Tuesday evening, Mary Ann Mendoza, whose police officer son was killed by a drunk driver, was abruptly removed from the program after she retweeted a thread promoting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory with ties to the fringe conspiracy theory, QAnon.
"Do yourself a favor and read this thread," Mendoza had tweeted in reference to a string of conspiratorial tweets about a Jewish plan to control the world. She later deleted the tweet and claimed that she hadn't read "every post within the thread."
Still, her initial placement in the program highlights the extent to which the Trump campaign has leaned into its fringe support in the final months of the 2020 presidential campaign.
Asked about the episode Wednesday, Bolton offered that he's "worried about Trump."
"That's what worries me. I think the Republican Party after this election is going to have a very serious conversation about the direction we want to go in. It will be immediate if Trump loses. But it's going to happen even if he wins. I wish we just had a figure in the conservative movement today like William F. Buckley Jr., who used to be able to enter into these debates and say, 'This is just simply not acceptable for responsible conservatives to believe in.'"
"But since there is not philosophy that governs this administration, that's how these extremists creep in," he continued.
"It is disturbing."
CNN's Maeve Reston and Stephen Collinson contributed to this report.