An unnamed White House official called COVID-19 the “Kung-Flu” to CBS News reporter and White House correspondent Weijia Jiang‘s face.
In a tweet posted this morning, Jiang revealed to her followers that a White House official reinforced the stereotype surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and the Asian community.
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
As Mediaite stated, Jiang is the reporter who outmaneuvered Trump into agreeing for coronavirus testing by asking if he was “selfish” for resisting the test.
The U.S. government has been criticized for it’s slow response to coronavirus testing and reporting, according to Business Insider. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield has already reprehended the phrasing and discrimination against Chinese people saying, “it is ‘absolutely wrong and inappropriate’ to call COVID-19 the ‘Chinese coronavirus.'”
Many verified Twitter users, including media and political figures, hopped onto the thread to condemn the new phrase and demand the official be stripped of their position and named to the public.
I’m sorry you have to deal with their nastiness. Thanks for your reporting. Their sophomoric attempts to rename and deflect responsibility for a lack of preparation/effective response won’t work if we don’t let it. https://t.co/I6ahqUeDBn
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 17, 2020
This is disgusting racism. This official should be fired immediately.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 17, 2020
Racism is petty. It seeks to cultivate bigotry and prejudice and exert power even in times when human beings most need each other.
This rhetoric isn’t harmless, especially with hate crimes against our Asian global family members already on the rise. https://t.co/eYzsWXRI5h
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) March 17, 2020
#ChineseVirus is trending on Twitter due to Trump’s tweet the day before, calling it a “Chinese Virus.”
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
Much like how GOP House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy defended his use of the “Chinese coronavirus,” the slur continues to draw attention to the virus’ origin from Wuhan, China.
Feature Image via @weijia