White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that President Donald Trump’s use of the term “Kung Flu” was intended to point to coronavirus’ origins in China.
CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang challenged McEnany on that point, arguing that it appeared to be a racist comment. (RELATED: ‘Waiting On A Call From The Derelict Governor’: Kayleigh McEnany Says Trump Won’t Intervene In CHAZ Until Asked)
Jiang began by pointing out Trump’s claim nearly a year ago that he was the “least racist person there is,” adding, “Why does he use racist phrases like the ‘Kung Flu’?”
McEnany said his use of the term was an attempt to point to the virus’ origins in China. “It’s a fair thing to point out as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history, ridiculously blame the coronavirus on American soldiers. This is what China is trying to do. President Trump is saying no,” she said.
Jiang asked whether the president was concerned about the Asian Americans who felt offended by his comments and who might be concerned that his use of that term would lead to “further attacks and discrimination.”
McEnany said that the president intended to protect the Asian community both in the United States and around the world.
“It’s an indictment of China for letting this virus get here. I would also point out that the media blames President Trump for using the terms ‘China virus’ and ‘Wuhan virus’ when they themselves have used these very terms,” McEnany continued, stating that the Washington Post, the New York Times and Reuters had all linked coronavirus to China in their copy at some point. “While the media wants to focus on nomenclature, the president is going to focus on action.”
Several moments later, “PBS Newshour” reporter Yamiche Alcindor followed up with a similar question, citing White House Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway’s statement about the term “Kung Flu.”
“She said that it was ‘highly offensive and wrong to use that term,'” Alcindor said, asking, “Does the president agree with Kellyanne Conway or is he now saying that term is not highly offensive and wrong, because again, that was Kellyanne Conway’s own words, saying ‘Kung Flu’ is wrong.” (RELATED: Kayleigh McEnany Pivots From Briefing Question To Full-On Attack On CNN)
“The president does not believe that it is offensive to note that this virus came from China,” McEnany repeated.