Former President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed outrage at President Trump’s repeated use of “kung flu” and “China virus” to describe the coronavirus, reports The New York Times.
“I don’t want a country in which the president of the United States is actively trying to promote anti-Asian sentiment and thinks it’s funny,” Obama said during the invitation-only Zoom fund-raiser, according to the Times.
“I don’t want that,” Obama added, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by a participant in the event. “That still shocks and pisses me off.”
While speaking at a youth rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, Trump again referred to the novel coronavirus as “kung flu,” eliciting laughter and wild cheers from the young crowd.
Trump was listing the different names he has heard for the virus, which has killed at least 119,000 Americans, during a speech for the student Republican group Turning Point Action.
“Wuhan. Wuhan was catching on, coronavirus, kung flu,” he said, repeating it as the crowd cheered. “I could give you many, many names. Some people call it the Chinese flu, the China flu, they call it the China.”
Trump downplayed the virus, saying, “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?”
Trump drew criticism after he used the racially insensitive term to describe the coronavirus at a campaign rally in Tulsa on Saturday night.