DONALD TRUMP has controversially referred to coronavirus as the “Kung flu” during an address to young Americans in Arizona.
The President previously attracted criticism after initially referring to Covid-19 as “the Chinese virus” in early press briefings – a term he defended as “accurate” amid criticism of racist connotations.
Speaking at the Address to Young Americans in Phoenix, Arizona, this past Tuesday, Mr. Trump branded coronavirus the “Kung Flu” in a description that was met with raucous cheers from those in attendance.
The President told the crowd at Dream City Church: “(Coronavirus) has so many names. I could give you 19 or 20 names for that right. It’s got all different names.
“Wuhan – Wuhan was catching on. Coronavirus, right?”
Pausing for effect, Trump then continued: “Kung flu” and repeated the phrase to loud cheers.
Bizarrely, the President then said: “Covid, Covid-19, Covid. I say, ‘What’s the 19?’ Covid-19. Some people can’t explain what the 19 … I said ‘That’s an odd name.’”
Covid-19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019 and is a reference to the virus that has infected 2.4 million Americans, leading to over 122,000 deaths.
The event represents the second occasion in which Mr. Trump has used the term “Kung flu” to describe Covod-19, following a similar remark at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday which also drew accusations of racism.
The President previously corrected his use of the term on Twitter, before posting a message of support for the Asian-American community.
“It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form.
“They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”
Mr. Trump has been a vocal critic of China’s handling of the coronavirus throughout the pandemic.