Kellyanne Conway reacts to Trump's use of ‘kung flu,’ months after calling term ‘highly offensive’
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway initially responded to President Donald Trump's use of the "kung flu" by saying that Trump used the term to highlight the origins of the coronavirus in China - and then suggested that she disagree with him.
A few weeks ago, Conway classified the sentence as "highly offensive". On Wednesday, however, she initially responded to a reporter's question about the President's repeated use of "kung flu" by criticizing the Chinese government.
"My reaction is that the President has made it very clear that he wants everyone to understand, and I think many Americans understand that the virus is from China," said Conway. "And if China had been more transparent and honest with the United States and the world, we wouldn't have all the death and destruction that we have unfortunately suffered."
When asked about the logic behind the term "kung flu" in relation to China, although "kung flu" does not refer to a specific location, Conway said, "Excuse me, how do you know the way people do "How do you know that? People don't expect it or don't connect it? They don't know that. As the President says, he also says that this virus is from China. China is responsible ... He said there are many different things, it's called the Wuhan virus, the Chinese virus, and then he used another term. "
When a reporter said in March that she had heard about White House employees using the term, Conway asked for the names of those who allegedly said "kung flu."
"Of course it's wrong," said Conway at the time. "This is very offensive, so you should tell us all who it is."
Conway did not repeat this characterization on Wednesday, but said the president was not surrounded by yes men.
"I speak to the President on various topics every day," said Conway. "We don't always agree on everything."
Trump's use of this racist expression is part of a pattern that attempts to use inflammatory rhetoric for political purposes. He has repeatedly blurred the distinction between demonstrators demonstrating against police brutality and "thugs" destroying property while highlighting the foreign origins of a virus that has now killed more than 120,000 Americans. On Monday evening, the president tweeted several videos without context or explanation that were supposed to show how black whites attack.
Cabinet officials, particularly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have used the term "Wuhan virus" to refer to the disease that was first recognized in a city in central China. Criticized by WHO and Asian-American stakeholders, Pompeo has defended this sentence by saying that it identifies the geographic origin of the outbreak, although it appears to be no longer using it.
However, the president's use of a racist term denounced by his own top aide shows his willingness to criticize his use of language, as well as his easygoing attitude towards demographic groups who have brought his own advisors to justice.
Trump called the novel corona virus public at the rally in Tulsa, Okla last weekend for the first time as "kung flu".
"I can call 'kung flu', I can name 19 different versions of names," Trump said. “Many call it a virus that it is. Many call it flu, what difference? "
At an event in Phoenix on Tuesday evening, Trump said the term again when asked by the crowd and caused loud cheers.
Experts warn that Trump's use of the term could increase US anti-Asian discrimination in the United States. Stakeholders have found that anti-Chinese rhetoric during the pandemic is linked to racist acts against Asian Americans.
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