Donald Trump's first rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. was a rundown of every topic he's yelled about on social media during that period. Trump spoke to his smaller-than-expected crowd for 2 hours, defending his ramp walk and water mishap, criticizing Joe Biden and criticizing Black Lives Matters protesters.
But a moment that will stand out and is already creating controversy is Trump's use of the term "Kung flu" about the coronavirus. He never mentions the dead in the U.S. or the criticism of his response to the virus around the country. However, what he did say was offensive to those watching outside of the arena.
Trump calls the coronavirus "Kung flu" and then says, "many call it a flu." (Nobody with a working brain says that.) pic.twitter.com/2Wlmv7L4na— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 21, 2020
His comment about slowing down coronavirus testing shocked many who are currently seeing cases rise around the nation as people try to go back to normal. He blamed everybody else for the issues, including the ongoing protests.
"They never talk about COVID. They don't talk about -- when you see 25,000 people walking down Fifth Avenue, or walking down a street of a Democrat-run city -- you never hear them saying they are not wearing their masks as they are breaking windows and running in," Trump said on stage, falsely claiming protesters did not wear masks or practice social distancing.
But it was his use of the term "Chinese virus" and "Kung flu" that set some people off on all sides. Even members of his administration have called the term "highly offensive," while others noted how it was just an example of Trump's rhetoric.
"Covid, it's this, they've got— by the way, it's a disease, without question, has more names than any disease in history," Trump said on stage. "I can name, Kung Flu, I can name 19 different versions of names. Many call it a virus, which it is, many call it a flu, what difference?"
Scroll down to see some of the reactions to Trump's speech and the racist "Kung flu" remark.
Kellyanne Conway called the term "Kung flu" highly offensive when asked about its usage in the White House back in early March. "I’d like to know who they are. But hold on, you can’t just say that and not name them. Tell us who it was. Come up here and tell us who it was," Conway told CBS reporter Weijia Jiang.
Conway is married to George Conway, a conservative lawyer who is half-Filipino. He has been an outspoken critic of the president.
Kellyanne Conway says it's 'highly offensive' to refer to coronavirus as 'kung flu' https://t.co/FC6EOAJ6pq— Michael Crowley (@michaelcrowley) June 21, 2020
Did the president of the United States just say ‘Kung flu’ at his rally?
He made a racist joke.
He made. A racist. Joke.
I’m speechless.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) June 21, 2020
Trump just called COVID-19 “Kung Flu” pic.twitter.com/uhNXaHTIFZ— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 21, 2020
Trump just said "kung flu" at his rally which @weijia said a White House aide said to her.
He said there are many names for the coronavirus and one of the names is "kung flu" and then he moved onto another subject.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 21, 2020
TRUMP: “Covid, it’s this, they’ve got— by the way, it’s a disease, without question, has more names than any disease in history. I can name, Kung Flu, I can name 19 different versions of names. Many call it a virus, which it is, many call it a flu, what difference?" pic.twitter.com/pwKzpL5qic— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) June 21, 2020
That’s all she wrote: “And rather than speak to the wide cross-section of Americans who say they are concerned about police violence and systemic racism, he continued to use racist language, describing the coronavirus as ‘Kung Flu.’” https://t.co/0WwCbsY45H— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) June 21, 2020
Trump is a racist pig. He just called Covid-19 “Kung Flu.”— Jennifer Taub (@jentaub) June 21, 2020
Trump advisor @KellyannePolls said in March that 'Kung Flu' is offensive & called out @weijia for saying a WH official used the term with her: "you can’t just say that and not name them. Tell us who it was. Come up here and tell us who it was” https://t.co/bjK4hkiax7
Trump now👇 https://t.co/C8A6DMVizw— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) June 21, 2020
Tonight in Tulsa:
Trump called COVID-19 the “Kung Flu”
Said he wanted to “slow down” coronavirus testing
Struggled to land an effective attack on Joe Biden.
Framed election as national heritage vs left-wing radicalism
Made no mention of George Floyd https://t.co/reD0Bts7O2— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 21, 2020