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Trump refers to coronavirus as 'kung flu' during Tulsa rally

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE used a racist term to define the coronavirus Saturday night during his Tulsa, Okla., rally, referring to the disease as the “kung flu." 

COVID-19, the novel disease caused by the coronavirus, is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, and the term "kung flu," appears to refer to the Chinese martial art of kung fu.

"It’s a disease, without question, has more names than any disease in history,” Trump said at the rally.

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“I can name – Kung flu. I can name 19 different versions of names. Many call it a virus, which it is. Many call it a flu. What difference. I think we have 19 or 20 versions of the name."

Trumps comments come as the state of Oklahoma has seen a spike in coronavirus cases over the past week. Hours before the president's rally took place, six members of his campaign's advance team tested positive for COVID-19. However, the campaign noted that none of the staffers who tested positive or anyone who’s been in immediate contact with them would be at the rally Saturday. 

This is also not the first time the administration has been connected with the offensive term. Earlier this year, the White House vehemently denied claims that administration officials called the virus the “kung flu” around CBS's Weijia Jiang, who is Chinese-American.

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The administration has also referred to the virus as the “Chinese Virus” or the “Wuhan Virus.”

Trump himself has also repeatedly blamed China for the spread of the disease, arguing that the country could have warned global leaders earlier about the seriousness of its spread. 

The president’s rally in Tulsa – which brought thousands of people into an indoor arena with no social distancing enforcement — goes directly against guidelines from public health officials, including those on the White House coronavirus task force.