In a recent interview with CNN reporter Jake Tapper, actor Robert De Niro shared his thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic. Among them were some harsh words directed at the government, who the Hollywood veteran believes handled things too slowly in combating the spread of the virus, and holds responsible for the mess the country currently finds itself in.
“I wish that people…the government had acted earlier,” De Niro said. “They had enough warning. Because we would not be at this stage of this pandemic, I think, if that had happened.”
The actor, a native New Yorker who has remained heavily involved in the city’s politics throughout his life, felt heartbroken at the toll the virus has taken on his home, which has been the global epicenter of the pandemic for around a month now.
As far as De Niro is concerned, the mood in Manhattan is pretty similar to how it was around September 11. “It feels the same,” the actor explained, “except this is…like something we see in a movie. It happened so fast.” He added that it was “unreal” to see so many big cities in the world suddenly become devoid of life.
While De Niro refused to name any specific names during the interview, his anger is clearly directed at the feds. Before it was over though, the actor made sure to put in a good word for New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his drastic but responsible measures. “Cuomo is doing a great job,” he said. “It’s so refreshing to see him speak and take charge, no matter what happens…He took action.”
The same praises were given to Dr. Anthony Fauci, coronavirus task force member, and Brooklyn native. “I think he’s great,” De Niro said. “He’s a New Yorker. Italian-American. I understand him without him having to say too much.”
The interview marks the latest chapter in a long history of Robert De Niro‘s fight with the Trump administration. At the 2018 Tony Awards, the actor received a standing ovation for openly insulting the Republican president. Back then though, his outcry accomplished little aside from raising public awareness. Let’s see what’ll happen this time.