The President was responding to a White House official calling the Coronavirus 'Kung-Flu'
President Trump has said that Asian Americans “would 100% agree” with calling the Coronavirus “The Chinese Virus”.
Yesterday we reported that a White House official had called Covid-19 “Kung-Flu” directly to an Asian American reporter’s face.
“This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face,” CBS reporter Wenjia Jiang tweeted. “Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.”
At a press conference with the President, the “Kung-Flu” comment was brought up by a journalist. “A White House official used the term ‘Kung-Flu’ referring to the fact that this virus started in China. Is that wrong?” the journalist asked Trump.
“I wonder who said that,” Trump said. “You know who said that?”
“I’m not sure of the person’s name,” the journalist replied. “My question is do you think using the term ‘Chinese virus’ puts Asian Americans at risk?”
“No not at all,” the President replied. “I think they probably would agree with it 100%.”
Asian American lawmakers have been urging Congress members to help to combat racism linked to the Coronavirus.
Rep. Judy Chu, said it is “harmful” to describe the virus as “Chinese”, adding that “calling the 2019 novel coronavirus the ‘Chinese’ or ‘Wuhan’ coronavirus is as descriptive as calling it the ‘CPAC coronavirus’ — that is to say not descriptive at all. Worse, it’s harmful.”
Numerous colleagues of Republican leader Kevin McCarthy also called for him to apologise for calling the virus “Chinese”.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris described McCarthy’s tweet as “dangerous.”
“Calling it the ‘Chinese coronavirus’ isn’t just racist,” Harris tweeted. “It’s dangerous and incites discrimination against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants.”
In New York City, an Asian man was seen being sprayed with a bottle cleaning product on the subway.
Most recently, an elderly Asian woman was chased with a bottle of hand sanitizer in Florida.
WATCH: @Yamiche asked the president if using the term "Chinese virus" to describe novel coronavirus puts Asian Americans at risk of being targeted.
President Trump: "No, not at all. I think they probably would agree with it 100%." pic.twitter.com/BGHe10PFQ0
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) March 18, 2020