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McEnany Dismisses Claims That Trump's Use of 'Kung Flu' at Rally Was Racist

McEnany Dismisses Claims That Trump's Use of 'Kung Flu' at Rally Was Racist
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Monday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2020 05:46 PM

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that President Donald Trump’s references to the coronavirus as the “kung flu” are not offensive.

Trump has repeatedly called the virus the “kung flu.” He did so during his Saturday campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., The Hill reports.

“It’s a disease, without question, has more names than any disease in history. I can name, ‘Kung flu.’ I can name 19 different versions of names,” Trump said during the rally. He also referred to the disease as the “Chinese virus” during the reelection event. 

On Monday, McEnany, rebutting questions suggesting the term was racist, argued that Trump was simply referring to the virus by “its place of origin.”

Some civil liberty organizations have cautioned that using the name “kung flu” to describe the coronavirus could lead to acts of racism against Asian Americans. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has herself publicly denounced the phrase. And kung flu is not a place of oring; the virus is thought to have originated in Wuhan, China, in the Hubei province. 

McEnany said Trump means no offense to Asian Americans. Trump has “said very clearly that it is important to protect our Asian community in the U.S. and all over the world,” she said of the president.

“They are amazing people and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way shape or form,” McEnany told reporters. “It’s not a discussion about Asian Americans who the president values and praises as citizens of this country, it is an indictment of China for letting this virus get here.”

She then pointed to news organizations that have used the terms “Chinese coronavirus” or “Chinese virus” when talking about COVID-19. She argued their word selection is no different than Trump’s.

“The president does not believe it is offensive to note that this virus came from China and to stand up for our U.S. military who China is making an active effort to completely defame and that is unacceptable to the president,” McEnany said, referring to a Chinese Embassy official who accused U.S. service members of bringing the virus to China.

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that President Donald Trump's references to the coronavirus as the "kung flu" are not offensive. Trump has repeatedly called the virus the "kung flu." He did so during his Saturday campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla.,...
Coronavirus, Trump, kungflu, China
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2020-46-22
Monday, 22 June 2020 05:46 PM
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