Stephen King has criticised Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying his response is “almost impossible to comprehend”.
The US president recently backtracked on his suggestion to impose a quarantine on New York after the state’s governor said doing so would be “preposterous”. He has also been mocked and condemned for bragging about the large number of people watching his coronavirus briefings and suggesting he is a “ratings hit”.
America now has more than 140,000 confirmed cases and last week, it became the country with the most reported cases ahead of Italy and China.
Speaking to CNN about Trump’s actions, King said: “It’s almost impossible to comprehend. I remember back in the 1970s when Republicans laughed at Jimmy Carter as being indecisive and wishy-washy.
“The president we have now, and [Republican governor] Ron DeSantis here in Florida, these are supposed to be go-to-it guys, the guys you want in charge when something really goes wrong because they don’t waffle, they don’t wishy-washy.”
King continued: “You had Trump at first saying, ‘This isn’t really very serious, don’t worry, everything’s going to be OK,’ then when the stock market starts to die, when the reality of the thing hits home, he’s talking about, ‘Well, take it easy. This thing is going to be like a miracle, everything’s going to be OK by Easter and we’ll have the churches full.’
“And then a couple of days later he talks about a quarantine. [New York governor] Andrew Cuomo didn’t know about it, nobody really seemed to know, it just came out of his head.”
King also discussed his 1979 novel The Stand, about a deadly influenza pandemic that wipes out most of the human race.
“Just in the last three or four weeks people are saying to me, ‘We are living in a Stephen King world,’ and boy, all I can say is I wish we weren’t. This has been waiting in the wings for a long, long time.
“The fact that nobody really seemed prepared still mystifies me.”
The publication of King’s latest book, If It Bleeds, has been brought forward two weeks to 28 April.
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