President Donald Trump's first public use of the phrase "kung flu" - during a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., last weekend - drew broad political backlash as a racist slur against Asian Americans.
Within three days, however, it was also something else: a rallying cry for his supporters.
Trump's appearance before a crowd of several thousand enthusiastic young people at the Dream City Church in Phoenix on Tuesday showed how his casual use of a demeaning phrase - one that even some White House aides rejected three months ago - has swiftly morphed into a staple of his reelection message amid tumbling poll numbers
The president hadn't even used the words in Phoenix before audience members, presumably primed from having heard his riff on the "many names" of the coronavirus at the Tulsa rally, beat him to the punchline and began shouting out "kung flu" - prompting Trump, with a grin, to repeat it.
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