Conservative radio host Erick Erickson, in a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday, celebrated a Trump administration official telling CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang that the coronavirus was “Kung-Flu.”
Erickson’s response was condemned by others online:
BuzzFeed News' Ryan Broderick also argued that this kind of bigotry just serves to help the Chinese regime:
Erickson later deleted the tweet, but also posted a message clarifying what types of language he would use:
Erickson has previously spread conspiracy theories on how the virus originated, and he has also been actively lambasting the idea of not referring to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan” or “Chinese” virus, accusing people who refrain from doing so of “pushing Chinese communist propaganda.”
Previously, Erickson defended President Donald Trump for lying about the number of people who died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. He also condemned The New York Times’ 1619 project, a series on the historical legacy of slavery in the United States. At the time, Erickson said the series was written by people “who profit from seeing things through racial lenses and keeping racial tension aflame.” And in August 2019, he dismissed concerns that a mass shooter in El Paso, Texas, had used anti-immigrant language similar to remarks by Trump and right-wing media figures. “The particular word is ‘invasion,’” Erickson wrote. “That’s what the President called it. That’s what Rush Limbaugh called it. That’s what the dictionary calls it.”
Erickson also once said that he was never allowed to Asian food on December 7 (the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack), though his mother later denied his story.