Speaking with Terri Seymour, the Hollywood legend compared Trump’s presidency to being in a troubled relationship.
De Niro said that Americans are “in a national abusive situation with a leader who is daily giving us something new to be concerned about.”
“That’s another kind of virus or pandemic that we are having to deal with. ‘I can’t wait, can’t wait, please God, that it goes away so we can get back to normal, get us all back to normal,'” he continued.
De Niro argued that the coronavirus crisis would have been “a lot less severe” with competent leadership.
“This nation has been toyed with, played with, conned to be where we are today. When are people going to wake up and see what the fraud is right in front of our very eyes?”
Per CBS News, data from Johns Hopkins University shows that more than 210,000 Americans have died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
For months, COVID-19 has been ravaging the United States, but Trump has seemingly downplayed the severity of the situation on multiple occasions.
Even after being hospitalized at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the commander-in-chief argued that Americans should not be afraid of the virus and should instead go on with their lives.
During interviews with veteran reporter Bob Woodward, the president admitted to deliberately downplaying the dangers of the pandemic early on, saying that he did so in order to reduce panic.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump once again suggested that COVID-19 is not as bad as most believe it is. He likened it to the seasonal flu, arguing that lockdowns and other measures are unnecessary.
Earlier this year, De Niro criticized the Trump administration’s policies amid the pandemic, saying that the commander-in-chief is looking to reopen the country as soon as possible in order to boost his chances of re-election.
The actor said that Trump should have utilized the Defense Production Act sooner so as to compel companies to manufacture the necessary medical equipment.
As The Hill noted, De Niro has been one of Trump’s most vocal celebrity critics. He has frequently spoken out against the president, once calling him a “f*cking idiot.”
In a 2018 tweet, Trump described the Goodfellas actor as a “very Low IQ individual.”
The public seems to agree with De Niro’s assessment of Trump’s presidency. In a recent ABC News-Ipsos poll, 65 percent of respondents said that they disapprove of the way he has handled the federal government’s response to COVID-19.