This Asian CBS reporter says White House official called coronavirus ‘kung-flu’ in front of her
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
CBS News‘ White House correspondent Weijia Jiang says an unnamed White House official “…referred to #Coronavirus as the ‘Kung-Flu’ to my face,” Jiang tweeted. She added: “Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.”
Jiang is Asian American who was born in China and raised in West Virginia, according to her CBS bio.
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
Donald Trump, meanwhile, has referred to coronavirus as “Chinese virus” multiple times, despite WHO recommendations against labeling any microbes after with geographic names.
“Kung fu” is a blanket term for any number of Chinese martial arts — and the “pun” “Kung-Flu” is a derogatory and scientifically inaccurate way to refer to an illness.
Not only does it misappropriate a part of Asian culture that’s been shaped (sometimes incorrectly) by American media, but it’s also inaccurate to call it a “flu” — since the virus is not related to the influenza virus and this could continue to perpetrate the notion that coronavirus is “the same” as influence (it’s not).