A “Kung Flu” kerfuffle started spreading in the White House on Tuesday, and President Trump was asked about it during a press conference the next day.
Yesterday, CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang took to Twitter to claim an anonymous “White House official” referred to COVID-19 as “Kung Flu” to her face.
This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.
— Weijia Jiang (@weijia) March 17, 2020
“Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back,” she added.
It’s not clear why the journalist sought to make herself part of the story.
Regardless, today, when reporters had a limited amount of time to ask about the consequential use of the Defense Production Act, or the deaths of children due to coronavirus, PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor instead asked Trump about the alleged statement by the unnamed staffer.
“There are some — at least one — White House official who used the term ‘Kung Flu,’” Alcindor said, “referring to the fact that this virus started in China. Is that acceptable? Is it wrong? Are you worried that having described — being talked about as a Chinese virus that that might help…”
“I wonder who said that,” Trump interjected. “You know who said that?”
“I’m not sure the person’s name,” Alcindor conceded, before asking Trump if he would “condemn” the use of it.
Trump invited the reporter to “say the term again.”
“A person at the White House used the term Kung Flu,” she said.
“Kung Flu,” the President repeated, before Alcindo said it again.
The reporter asked if using the term or “Chinese virus” puts Asian-Americans “at risk.”
“Not at all. I think they would agree with it 100 percent,” Trump responded.
“It comes from China.”
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @KyleOlson4.