Trump doubles down on 'China virus,' demands to know who in White House used phrase 'Kung Flu"

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President Trump on Wednesday continued to call COVID-19, the "China virus," and said he doesn't think labeling the novel coronavirus is racist or puts Asian-Americans at risk.

"No, not at all," Trump said during the noon press conference. "I think they probably would agree with it, 100 percent. It comes from China."

Trump has been under pressure from China as well as some Democrats to stop using the term "China virus" or "Wuhan virus." They believe the term stigmatizes China and borders on being racist. But instead if stopping, Trump has upped his use.

"I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, commenting on news coverage about his response to the global pandemic that's killed 7,374 people so far. Trump's tweet was one of three he sent out Wednesday morning where he referred to COVID-19 the "Chinese Virus."

His refusal to change his wording comes as tensions rise between the United States and China over the origin of the virus as well as China's handling of the crisis.


On Tuesday, CBS reporter Weijia Jiang claimed in a tweet that an unnamed White House official had called the deadly virus the "Kung-Flu" to her face.

"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," she tweeted.

During Wednesday's briefing, PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor pressed Trump about someone in his administration using the phrase "Kung-Flu."

In the bizarre exchange, Trump asked Alcindor to repeat the phrase "Kung-Flu" and asked her directly which White House official had used the term. She said she did not get a name.

Earlier in the day, White House advisor Kellyanne Conway took a more combative tone with reporters and though she said using the phrase "Kung-Flu" was wrong, she refused to engage in a "hypothetical" and demanded to know who in the White House had the exchange with Jiang.


At one point, Conway turned around and said, "Weijia, who was it? Tell us!"

Jiang said, "I think you understand how these conversations go," to which Conway replied, "No, I don't know how these conversations go and that is highly offensive so you should tell us all who it is."

Fox News' Tyler Olsen contributed to this report.