Kayleigh McEnany

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Is 'Kung Flu' A Racist Term?

Jeff Katz
June 23, 2020 - 2:13 pm

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was questioned during Monday's press briefing about President Donald Trump's use of the phrase "Kung flu" at a campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday.

CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang, a Chinese-American reporter, asked McEnany a "question of my own" in which she inquired why President Trump would use a "racist phrase" like Kung flu.

Jiang said, "Kayleigh, I have a question of my own. Last July, President Trump declared himself the least racist person there is anywhere in the world. Why does he use racist phrases like the Kung flu?"

"The president doesn't" McEnany replied. "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. This is what China's trying to do, and what President Trump is saying 'no.'"

After a contentious back and forth, Jiang asked, "Kung flu is extremely offensive to many people in the Asian American community. To be clear, are you saying the White House does not believe it is racist?"

McEnany responded by pointing out that the media is focusing more on the terminology and less on the actual work being done to combat the virus.

"To be clear, I think the media is trying to play games with the terminology of this virus, where the focus should be on the fact that China let this out of their country," she said. "The same phrase that the media roundly now condemns has been used by the media I can go more examples Wuhan virus CNN said on January 22, I mean we can go on and on and on. So while the media wants to focus on nomenclature, the president is what you focus on action. Yes?"