McEnany Defends Trump After He Referred to the Coronavirus as the 'Kung Flu' During Rally


White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump does not use racist phrases.

Trump was criticized after he referred to the coronavirus as the “kung flu” during his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.

“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.

But on Monday, McEnany said Trump was using the phrase to “point to the fact that the origin of the virus is China.”

“The president doesn’t [use racist phrases]. What the president does do is point to the fact that the origin of the virus is China. It’s a fair thing to point out as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history. Ridiculously blame the coronavirus on American soldiers,” she said, adding, “This is what China is trying to do.”

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She added, “What President Trump is saying, ‘No China. I will label this virus for its place of origin.”

When asked if the White House was arguing that the term is not racist, McEnany said, “To be clear, I think the media is trying to play games with the terminology.” 

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Additionally, McEnany went on claim that several reporters called the coronavirus the Wuhan virus or the Chinese coronavirus before calling those terms racist. 

When asked about concerns that such phrases could stir up violence against Asian Americans, McEnany said, “[Asian Americans] are amazing people, and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way, shape, or form.”

She continued, “They are working closely with us to get rid of it, and we will prevail together, and it is very important. It’s not a discussion about Asian Americans, who the president values and prizes as citizens of this great country. It is an indictment of China for letting this virus get here.”

Finally, she said, “While the media wants to focus on nomenclature, the president’s going to focus on action.”

In March, Trump defended calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” with a similar rationale, as IJR reported

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When asked why he used the phrase, Trump said, “Because it comes from China, it’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”

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