Robert De Niro hits out at Donald Trump's handling of coronavirus crisis

Robert De Niro has hit out at Donald Trump, claiming that the President ‘doesn’t care’ how many people die from coronavirus.

The Oscar-winning actor took aim at Trump’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, which has so far killed more than 82,000 people in the US.

During an appearance on Newsnight, De Niro described the situation at the White House as ‘Shakespearean,’ and admitted ‘you’ve got a lunatic saying things that people are trying to dance around’.

Trump, who is up for re-election in November, has frequently been accused of contradicting the advice of his scientific advisers throughout the pandemic and refuses to wear a mask.

He was criticised last month for suggesting research into whether the virus could be treated by injecting disinfectant into the body.

‘It’s appalling, it’s appalling,’ De Niro said. ‘He wants to be re-elected, he doesn’t even care how many people die.’

Challenged by Newsnight host Emily Maitlis that Mr Trump’s fanbase would disagree, The Irishman star exclaimed: ‘No, he doesn’t care for those people. 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 is isolating at his home in New York, the state hardest hit by the pandemic.

‘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,’ he said.

‘It’s interesting, it’s kind of like a science fiction movie but it’s real.’

Newsnight airs weekdays at 10.45pm on BBC Two.

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