“By the way, it’s a disease, without question, [that] has more names than any disease in history,” Trump said at the time.
“I can name kung flu, I can name 19 different versions of names.”Since then, Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has gone on to defend his use of the term.
“The president does not believe it’s offensive to note that the virus came from China,” McEnany said during a briefing on Monday.
Trump’s use of the “Chinese virus” or “kung flu” is, of course, not in good faith and very much about tapping into the same racism and xenophobia he’s long amplified in myriad comments he’s made about people of color.
The group says it saw a surge in reports after Trump began using rhetoric like the “Chinese virus” and noted that many “anti-China” comments were frequently associated with verbal and physical assaults.