Trump Called Coronavirus ‘Kung Flu’ As He Announced He’s Slowed Down Testing
President Donald Trump has caused fury following his comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend, where he referred to coronavirus as ‘kung flu’.
While speaking at the Republican event on Saturday, June 20, Trump spoke about the virus, which he described as having ‘19 different versions of names’, before using the offensive racial slur.
The president even appeared to make light to the illness, which has killed more than 100,000 people in the US.
Check out his speech here:
Trump has been criticised in the past for referring to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus’ or the ‘Wuhan virus’, which civil liberty groups have warned could incite violence and hatred against Asian Americans, The Guardian reports.
However, the 74-year-old took it that one step further at the rally, by using a racial slur and referring to the virus as ‘kung flu’.
‘It has more names than any disease in history. I can name kung flu. I can name 19 different versions of names,’ he told the crowd, who laughed and cheered.
Understandably, thousands of people took to Twitter, outraged at the president’s use of language, with many claiming it belittles the lives of all those who have died from the illness.
He previously defended his use of racially motivated language, saying it was ‘not racist at all’.
‘It comes from China,’ he said in a press briefing in March, adding: ‘I want to be accurate.’
Later in the speech, Trump revealed his administration is beginning to slow testing for the illness.
He said that while the US has tested far more people than any other country, the ‘bad part’ of widespread testing means it leads to logging more cases of the virus.
Speaking to the crowd, Trump said:
When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases.
So, I said to my people: ‘Slow the testing down, please.’
They test and they test.
However, a spokesperson for the White House later told reporters the president was just joking about slowing down the testing.
Many have criticised Trump for hosting such a big event under the current climate, with health officials warning it could lead to further spread of the disease – particularly given that most in attendance opted not to wear face covering masks.
So far, the US has had 2.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 122,000 deaths, giving them the highest death rate in the world.
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