Mr Francesa, known as the “Sports Pope” in New York, criticised Mr Trump for a White House press conference on Monday in which the CEO of a pillow company spent considerable time praising his efforts.
“[Hospitals] don’t have the supplies they need. So don’t give me the My Pillow guy doing a song and dance up here on a Monday afternoon when people are dying in Queens!”, he said. “Get the stuff made! Get the stuff where it needs to go and get the boots on the ground. Treat this like the crisis it is.”
Mr Francesca emerged as a fierce and valuable supporter of Mr Trump presidential run in 2016, devoting hours of his popular daily show to making the case for the then outsider candidate.
“This guy works 20 hours a day. He doesn’t need the job. He doesn’t need the money. He doesn’t need the power. He had all that already. I think it’s about doing a good job. His ego will not let him do anything but a good job. Because he’s driven,” he said in 2016.
But the radio host has had few good things to say about the way the president has dealt with the pandemic, as the number of US deaths rose above 3,000 this week. He particularly took issue with Mr Trump’s suggestion that he would consider 100,000 deaths from the virus a good job.
“How can you have a scoreboard that says 2,000 people have died, and tell us it’s OK if another 198,000 die, that’s a good job. How is that a good job in our country? It’s a good job if nobody else dies. Not if another 198,000 people die. So now 200,000 people are disposable?” he asked.
He went on: “That’s what’s wrong here. There’s a disconnect. We’re watching one thing happen in our city on the 11 o’clock news every night. We’re watching people die and now we know people who die. And we’re not seeing one or two people die now in the neighbourhood. We’re seeing them die by the 10s and the 20s every day. They’re bringing people out of a hospital in Queens in body bags, five minutes from where he grew up.”
Recent polls suggest Mr Trump’s approval ratings have risen slightly since the crisis began. A poll by ABC/Ipsos found that 55 percent approve of the way he responded to the coronavirus pandemic and 43 percent disapprove.
His average approval rating since taking office is around 40 percent.