President Donald Trump went to Arizona on Tuesday to celebrate a newly constructed portion of the border wall between the United States and Mexico. He also spoke at a mega-church, where he used the term “Kung flu” to refer to COVID-19. American attorney, political commentator, and politician Bakari Sellers took to Twitter to call out Trump on his continued use of racist terminology.
“Saying Kung Flu is racist. The President of the United States is racist,” tweeted Sellers.
The tweet received a lot of attention, with nearly 34,000 Twitter users hitting the “like” button, while at least 6,200 retweeted the allegations. Approximately 600 accounts also left a comment for Sellers.
Several replies noted that perhaps the president’s spokespeople would attempt to say that he used “Kung Flu” as a joke, which is how several associated with President Trump explained his comments telling officials to slow down COVID-19 testing last Saturday. However, the president insisted that he doesn’t kid about things. Others expressed dismay that the people gathered at the church cheered and clapped for the term.
“And he did it in a church…. which says a lot about those in that church who cheered. It’s time we come to terms with the racism that exists in the church. Especially the so-called Christian churches,” replied one Twitter user.
The president’s use of the term — which many find offensive and racist — at the Dream City Church in Phoenix was met with applause that some reporters described as “raucous.”
A few noted that the president does not have any specific platform that he is running on this year, and they believed he had to give the people who planned to vote for him easily repeatable catchphrases to keep them engaged.
“He has no platform or strategy. It’s a rerun of simple phrases that his diminishing base can also remember,” wrote one.
However, not everybody agreed that Sellers and those who agreed with him were correct in thinking President Trump is racist. A few spoke up in defense of the president and his name for the virus that has caused a pandemic.
“Just checked…NOPE ‘Kung’ didn’t make the list of racial slurs,” replied a supporter who also linked to a Wikipedia page that listed different types of racist phrases.
“No, it’s not,” another account that disagreed wrote.
Donald Trump appeared to use the name “Kung Flu” to refer to the novel coronavirus in an effort to shift blame for the pandemic to China. Many people, including those who regularly criticize the president, also believe that China failed to warn the world about the seriousness of COVID-19.