Bill Gates: Trump is asking Americans to ignore 'pile of bodies' by sending them back to work
Bill Gates attends the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting at The Shertaon New York Hotel on September 24, 2013 in New York City. (JStone /

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates on Tuesday issued a scathing indictment of President Donald Trump's call to send Americans back to work at the end of next week even as the spread of COVID-19 grows by leaps and bounds.

In an interview with Re/code's Teddy Schleifer, Gates said it was "very irresponsible" for Trump to suggest things could soon go back to normal, and he said experience has shown that's not the right way to fight a pandemic.

"There is no middle course on this thing," he said. "And it's very tough to say to people, 'Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner, we want you to keep spending.'"

Gates then speculated that this is because "there's maybe a politician who thinks GDP growth is all that counts."

Trump's call to restart the American economy has received some pushback from even some of his congressional allies including Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Liz Cheney, who earned the wrath of Trump supporters on Tuesday when she said the economy couldn't recover until the virus is under control.