Robert De Niro doesn't think the US government acted quickly enough amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 76-year-old actor has slammed the response to the health crisis, as he believes the government had ''enough warning'' to put safety measures into practice much earlier than they did.

He told CNN: ''I wish that people ... the government had acted earlier. They had enough warning. Because we would not be at this stage of this pandemic, I think, if that had happened.''

The 'Taxi Driver' star - who hails from New York, which is the epicentre of the virus in the US - says the pandemic ''feels the same'' as the 9/11 terrorist attack which struck the city in 2001, and likened the events to a ''movie''.

He explained: ''It feels the same, except this is ... like something we see in a movie. It happened so fast.

''It's unreal to see every big city in the world just sort of empty. You only see that in a movie, and it's happening to us.''

Whilst he thinks the government could have done more, De Niro did praise New York State governor Andrew Cuomo for his ''great job'' in ''taking charge'' amid the difficult times.

He said: ''It's so refreshing to see him speak and take charge, no matter what happens ... He took action.''

And speaking about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he added: ''I think he's great. He's a New Yorker. Italian-American. I understand him without him having to say too much.''

Meanwhile, De Niro previously took part in recording a PSA (Public Service Announcement) about the virus, in which he jokingly told people he will know if they're not adhering to social-distancing guidelines.

In the clip, he said: ''Hello, this is Robert De Niro. We all need to stay home. We need to stop the spread of this virus, and we can only do it together. Not just to protect ourselves but to protect others and all the older people you love.''

He then smiled and pointed to his eyes and then the camera, before he added: ''I'm watching you.''