President Donald Trump has resumed referring to the coronavirus pandemic as "Kung flu" and made a point of doing so at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday night. It started with Trump talking about his border wall, claiming that California was "secretly" in favor of, before mentioning San Diego and its proximity to Juarez, Mexico
"Did you ever notice, I said the other night, did anybody see my speech the other night on Saturday night? I said the other night there's never been anything with so many names," Trump told the crowd in a video tweeted out by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar. "I could give you 19 or 20 names." After rattling off names like "Wuhan" and "coronavirus," he then called it "Kung flu," which got a roar of applause from the crowd. At which point, he started speculating on what the "19" at the end of COVID-19 means. (It refers to the year scientists discoved the strain — 2019.)
Trump once against refers to coronavirus with the racist "Kung Flu" moniker, prompting huge cheers from his Turning Point Action audience. He then expresses confusion about what the "19" in "Covid-19" stands for. pic.twitter.com/bDsNFA2yvB— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 23, 2020
This phrase is another racist moniker that Trump has given to coronavirus, the other being "Chinese virus." Even though he received significant backlash over that particular term as far back as March, he'd doubled down in an interview with CNN, claiming he calls it that "[be]cause it comes from China."
"It's not racist at all, no, not at all," Trump continued. "It comes from China, that's why. I want to be accurate. I have great love for all of the people from our country, but as you know, China tried to say at one point ... that it was caused by American soldiers. That can't happen, it's not going to happen, not as long as I'm President. It comes from China."
At his sparsely-attended rally on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Trump also told the crowd that he wanted to slow down testing for COVID-19. He backed up those remarks on Monday at a press conference outside the White House. "By having more tests, we find more cases," he explained, before claiming that the U.S. has done "way more" testing for COVID-19 than "other countries — big countries," which makes the U.S. look bad by comparison. "The reason we have more cases than other countries is because our testing is so much."