President Donald Trump's COVID-19 task force gave a presser on Wednesday afternoon, where reporters were asked for updates on the virus's spread and what the Trump administration's plans would be moving forward.
Trump was also asked about some of his and his officials' rhetoric.
Trump has repeatedly called COVID-19 the "Chinese Virus," even after widespread condemnation from Americans and the Chinese government as well.
On Tuesday morning, CBS News White House Correspondent Weijia Jiang tweeted that a Trump administration official called COVID-19 "Kung Flu" during a conversation with her.
This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to my face. Makes me wonder what the… https://t.co/2Gn87vQVd0— Weijia Jiang (@Weijia Jiang)1584455713.0
When PBS Newshour's Yamiche Alcindor confronted Trump about rhetoric like "Kung Flu" and Chinese Virus," leading to a bizarre exchange.
Asked about a White House official saying "Kung Flu" right in the face of reporter Weijia Jiang, Trump wonders "who… https://t.co/vpzYl9jRTb— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1584551595.0
Trump pressed Alcindor to use the term again and challenged her to name the unidentified official who used the term "Kung Flu."
When Alcindor asked if the terms could increase the already rising amount of harassment against Asian-Americans in the face of the virus, Trump said:
"Not at all. I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent."
Hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian American sentiment have seen an uptick as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Though the virus began in Wuhan, China, there are now more cases outside of China than inside. China has seen both deaths and cases of COVID-19 decrease in recent weeks.
While some Conservatives insist on calling it "China Virus" instead of the name designated to it by health professionals, Asian-Americans across the country spoke out against the rhetoric.
I don't speak on behalf of all Asian Americans, but I would disagree Mr. President. Your continuous use of this rhe… https://t.co/an4iHrbbLf— Senator Mazie Hirono (@Senator Mazie Hirono)1584558736.0
@CeciliaVega To be clear, language like "Chinese virus" is racist, and it fuels racism in what is already a painful… https://t.co/FSZLRbZbLS— MJ Lee (@MJ Lee)1584550064.0
This racism is coming from the top, the racist in chief, @realDonaldTrump. The racism is anti-Chinese, but racists… https://t.co/e4Ntn70OsH— viet thanh nguyen (@viet thanh nguyen)1584505180.0
The defense for calling coronavirus “Chinese” by claiming it blames the Chinese government, not Chinese Americans,… https://t.co/jZs2JJpisy— Nancy Wang *Not A Virus* Yuen (@Nancy Wang *Not A Virus* Yuen)1584546187.0
Devastating. https://t.co/HJ60rtrytB— Katie Kim (@Katie Kim)1584552874.0
Thanks @Yamiche for asking the question & holding accountability. And no, Asian Americans do not 100% agree. This r… https://t.co/3KomeNSWzK— Laurine Price (@Laurine Price)1584553033.0
We do not agree with it. https://t.co/YnbpugFIAx— Sam Wada (@Sam Wada)1584555923.0
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says of Asian American stigma from Coronavirus:
"Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease."
"It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans."
Trump's break with the guidelines of health professionals and sensible Americans made his racism all the more clear.
The President is a racist demagogue. https://t.co/uSao18gA4o— Nick Klensch (@Nick Klensch)1584552535.0
Because Trump is a racist, he thinks this is fine https://t.co/6QuEBQvJAY— normavela (@normavela)1584554287.0
How straightforward is it to denounce this nakedly racist slur? How easy a political win to demand that no one in y… https://t.co/SVXgdOdPPS— Bill Wolkoff (@Bill Wolkoff)1584552924.0
Trump continues to use the "China Virus" description on Twitter, to the glee of his largely white base.