ROBERT DE Niro has hit out at Donald Trump over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking during an appearance on Newsnight, the Oscar-winner claimed that the US president “doesn’t care” how many people die from coronavirus.
According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, more than 82,000 people have died from the virus in the US, more than in any other country in the world.
Trump has courted criticism throughout much of the pandemic for his handling of the crisis.
The President has frequently contradicted scientific advice on things like masks, has regularly clashed with reporters during daily press briefings and, in one bizarre instance, even suggested coronavirus could be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.
During an interview with Newsnight host Emily Maitlis, De Niro described events in the White House as “Shakespearean,” adding “you’ve got a lunatic saying things that people are trying to dance around”.
Trump is up for re-election in November and, according to the Raging Bull actor, is eager to get the economy restarted to boost his chances of a second term, no matter what the cost.
“It’s appalling, it’s appalling. He wants to be re-elected, he doesn’t even care how many people die,”De Niro said.
Though Maitlis countered that the President’s fanbase would disagree with this claim, the Goodfellas star doubled down on his opinions.
“No, he doesn’t care for those people,” he replied.
“And the people who he pretends to care about are the people he has the most disdain for because he could care less about them.
“They might like to tell themselves or delude themselves, but he doesn’t care about them.”
De Niro has been isolating at his home in New York, the US state hit hardest by the pandemic.
He told Newsnight: “It’s been very strange because New York is kind of like a ghost town, it’s surreal then you see other parts of the world, other great big cities of the world, are also in the same situation.
“It’s interesting, it’s kind of like a science fiction movie but it’s real.”