Actress Fionnula Flanagan has told Liveline that she believes US President Donald Trump has "grossly mismanaged" the Covid-19 crisis. 

Flanagan described as "shocking" the response of the Trump administration to the global pandemic and believes it "is going to change a lot of minds" ahead of the presidential elections this year. 

The United States has the world's largest coronavirus outbreak by far, with more than 89,000 deaths among nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The stage, television and film actress, who is based in the US, said there is such high unemployment, there are queues for miles to get to food banks in shocking scenes not witnessed since the Great Depression. 

She said many of those "driving up to the food kitchens are Trump supporters or have been Trump supporters in the past". 

"The treatment that's been dished out by the current administration to the scientists and the doctors is appalling and they've been sort of pushed aside and been treated like puppets of some kind, so that's been rather shocking," she told listeners. 

The 78-year-old, who believes Ireland has handled the crisis "very well" said she was in New York when the Broadway theatres closed for the lockdown. 

"I cashed in my two tickets I had for two more shows and got back on a plane to California the next day."

Flanagan, a long-time Sinn Féin supporter, added that while she has not been following Irish politics at the moment, Gerry Adams phoned her last week to see how she was doing to see. 

She said she became a supporter of the party "when they were struggling to bring about the peace process and I did what I could here on this side of the pond, as they say, to try and get support for that....their struggle for the peace process and that was important to me and it's still important to me". 

Flanagan told listeners that she hopes there is no return to violence in Northern Ireland. 

"There are people everywhere who are just itching for a chance, in fact I've met some of them, who are itching for a chance to go back to the gun." 

She said one person said to her "and I have to quote to use his words 'if they put one f**king soldier on that border, I'll be out, I'll be out'." 

She said he meant out with a gun.

Flanagan recalled during the London premiere of 'Some Mother's Son' in 1996 with Helen Mirren, that a photographer spat at her and some journalists asked her "what was it like making an IRA film?".