July 9, 2020
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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

White House says Trump doesn’t apologize for calling coronavirus “kung flu” at Tulsa rally

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President Trump’s spokesman spoke out in defense of his call of the coronavirus “kung flu” at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, over the weekend.

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“The source of the virus is China,” said spokeswoman Kaylee Mackinani at a Monday briefing. “This is fair to say. While China is trying to ridiculously rewrite history, it is ridiculous to blame the coronavirus for American soldiers – this is what China is trying to do. Well, President Trump says, “No, China, I will designate this virus as its place of origin.”

Makinani was asked to respond to Asian Americans who might be offended by Trump’s use of racial insults.

“The president said very clearly that it is important to protect our Asian community in the United States and around the world,” the spokesman said. “They are amazing people, and the spread of the virus is not their fault.”

“This is not a discussion about Asian Americans, whom the president appreciates and appreciates as citizens of this great country,” she added. “This is China’s accusation that the virus got here.”

Makinani pointed to examples of news agencies using phrases such as “Wuhan virus” to describe COVID-19, and accused the media of “trying to play games with the terminology of this virus.”

At a Tulsa rally on Saturday night, Trump said the virus that originated in Wuhan, China, has “more names than any disease in history.”

“I can call it Kung Flu,” Trump said, cheering on the partially-filled arena. “I can name 19 different versions of the names.”

White House spokeswoman Kaley Makinani on Monday. (Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images)
White House spokeswoman Kaley Makinani on Monday. (Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

At the same rally, Trump told supporters that he asked for slower coronavirus testing in the United States to stop the country’s growing number of cases of COVID-19.

“When you get tested to this extent, you will find more people. You will find more to do! Trump exclaimed. “So I told my people:“ Slow down the testing, please! “

Makinani said he was joking at the expense of the media, which, she said, could not qualify reports of an increase in coronavirus cases, noting an increase in testing. But in several states that are causing a surge in incidence, including Texas, Florida, and Arizona, The prevalence of positive test results was constant or increasing. – this means that increasing the number of cases is not just an artifact.

Back in March, White House adviser Kellianne Conway called the term “kung flu” “extremely offensive” after reporting that an unnamed White House employee used the phrase.

“Of course, this is wrong,” Conway told reporters. “This is very offensive. I would like to know who it is.

Makinani did not answer when asked whether Conway was offended by the offense.

When asked if Trump regrets the use of this phrase, the spokesman replied no.

“The president never regrets having blamed China again,” she said. “The president does not consider this offensive.”

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