White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday sparred with reporters about the use of the term “Kung Flu” to describe the coronavirus that originated in China.
“By the way, it’s a disease without question, has more names than any disease in history,” Trump said during his campaign rally on Saturday. “I can name, ‘Kung Flu,’ I can name, 19 different versions of names.”
Several reporters in the White House press briefing said that the term “Kung Flu” was “racist” and “offensive” to Asian Americans and asked why the president used the term at his campaign rally on Saturday.
But McEnany said the president would continue referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and the “Wuhan virus” to combat propaganda efforts by China to distract from the origin of the virus.
“To be clear, I think the media is trying to play games with the terminology of this virus,” McEnany answered
CBS reporter Weijia Jiang, who accused a White House official of using the term, protested the president’s use of the term during the rally, calling it “extremely offensive to many people in the Asian American community.”
McEnany cited several media uses of phrases such as the “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus” in their reporting to suggest that they were being hypocritical with their outrage.
“When the media wants to focus on nomenclature, the president is going to focus on action,” she said.