Former President Barack Obama reportedly accused President Donald Trump of spreading “anti-Asian” sentiment with his comments about the coronavirus.
Obama ripped his successor for using the terms “China virus” and “kung flu” to describe the coronavirus, according to a New York Times article published Sunday. Obama reportedly made the comments during a private, virtual fundraiser for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. (RELATED: Obama Compares Climate Change To Coronavirus, Rips Trump Rule Change)
“I don’t want a country in which the president of the United States is actively trying to promote anti-Asian sentiment and thinks it’s funny. I don’t want that. That still shocks and pisses me off,” the Obama reportedly said.
The president faced criticism for referring to the coronavirus as the “kung flu” at a recent campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s comments at a press conference earlier in June, saying the president was trying to draw attention to China’s role in spreading the virus. (RELATED: Imperial College Modeler Resigns After Violating His Own Social Distancing Guidelines)
“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 at the time.
A survey conducted by The Harris Poll in early April found that more than 50% of Americans either somewhat or strongly agree with Trump referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.”