White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a press briefing Monday that President Trump's description of the coronavirus as "kung flu" at a rally Saturday was "linking it to its place of origin."

Why it matters: People have described the term as racist and offensive to Asian Americans, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has previously called it "highly offensive."

  • In March, the president was asked about an allegation that a member of his staff had used the term — and, while he didn’t condemn it, he had not used it in public until this weekend. At the time, he said he didn’t think it would put Asian Americans at risk of being blamed for the virus.

What she's saying:

"What the president does do is point to the fact that the origin of the virus is China. It's a fair thing to point out as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history, ridiculously blame the coronavirus on American soldiers — this is what China is trying to do. And what President Trump is saying, 'No, China, I will label this virus for its place of origin.' ... He is linking it to its place of origin. ...
It's not a discussion about Asian Americans, who the president values and prizes as citizens of this great country. It's an indictment of China for letting this virus get here."

Go deeper

Updated Jun 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he asked officials to slow coronavirus testing down

President Trump arrives at a campaign rally at the BOK Center, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told the crowd at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday that he asked officials to "slow the testing down" for the novel coronavirus.

Details: This is the first time Trump has made such remarks, and the campaign for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued a statement calling Trump's comments "outrageous" and "appalling." White House officials told reporters that Trump was joking, Axios' Hans Nichols notes.

Updated Jun 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump returns to the campaign circuit: "So far tonight I’m average"

Trump on stage in Tulsa. Photo: Nicholas Kamm /AFP/Getty Images

President Trump ended his three-month hiatus from the campaign trail by plunging straight into the culture wars.

Why it matters: Trump is trying to tie former Vice President Joe Biden to demonstrators taking down statues across the country.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 11,137,846 — Total deaths: 526,156 — Total recoveries — 6,003,824Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 2,809,108 — Total deaths: 129,509 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: America's exceptionally uneventful Fourth of July ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.