'Kung flu' coronavirus: China warns Trump against spreading stigma
The remarks by Chinese authorities come after Trump called COVID-19 the “kung flu” during a campaign rally on Saturday. He has also previously called the virus “the Chinese plague” due to its origin in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Chinese authorities on Monday warned US President Donald Trump against any actions or words that used the novel coronavirus to "stigmatize" countries. This comes after Trump called COVID-19 the “kung flu” during a campaign rally on Saturday. He has also previously called the virus “the Chinese plague” due to its origin in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
More than 8.9 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, including more than 467,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
“China also firmly opposes any words or actions that try to use the origins of the coronavirus to stigmatize any country,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, in response to a question about Trump's remark.
Zhao added that the World Health Organization and the international community are “explicitly opposed to linking virus to any specific country or region.”
Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing of suppressing the details of the contagion. His administration officials have described it as Wuhan virus due to its origin.
Trump, addressing his first election rally on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the US early this year, said that the COVID-19 is a disease and has many names than any disease in history.
“I can name – Kung flu. I can name 19 different versions of names. Many calls it a virus, which it is. Many calls it a flu. What difference. I think we have 19 or 20 versions of the name," Trump said. Kung fu refers to the Chinese martial arts in which people use only their bare hands and feet to fight.
The US is the worst coronavirus-affected country with over 2.2 million cases and more than 1,19,000 deaths.
Scientists are racing against time to find a vaccine or medicine for its treatment.