Sean Penn rips Trump’s coronavirus response during Cannes Film Festival press conference
Actor and director Sean Penn savaged former President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response Sunday, likening his actions to “someone with a machine gun gunning down communities that were most vulnerable from a turret at the White House.”
At a press conference for his new feature film “Flag Day,” starring himself and his daughter Dylan Penn, 30, the 60-year-old actor was asked about his work setting up COVID testing and vaccination sites during the worst days of the pandemic through a disaster-relief fund he had founded. Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), focused on underserved communities.
“We were — not only as a country, but as a world – let down and openly neglected, misinformed,” he said of Trump and the task force he put together, according to Variety. “We had truth and reason assaulted under what was in all terms an obscene administration. When my team and I would come home from test and vaccinations sites at night, particularly during testing under Trump, to maddening news — it felt like someone with a machine gun gunning down communities that were most vulnerable from a turret at the White House.”
The administration of President Biden, by contrast, is like a sunrise, Penn said.
“In the transition to the task force that President Biden put together, it was really that feeling like a sun was rising,” he said, according to The Guardian. “There was no effort of integrity coming from the federal government until the Trump administration was dismissed.”
The novel coronavirus, which emerged in China in late 2019 and burst onto the world scene in early 2020, has infected at least 187 million people worldwide and killed 4 million of them, with 34 million infected in the U.S. and at least 607,155 lives lost, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Penn delivered his remarks at a press conference for his feature entry into the Cannes Film Festival. The movie, based on the 2005 memoir by Jennifer Vogel, “Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life,” chronicles the journalist’s tumultuous relationship with her scheming dad.