A Chinese-American civil rights group is suing Trump for $22.9m for calling COVID-19 the 'China Virus' and 'Kung Flu'. That's $1 for each Asian American and Pacific Islander living in the US.

·2 min read
Former President Donald Trump, left, and a protester holding a 'Asian is not a virus' sign.
Former President Donald Trump, left, is being sued by a Chinese-American civil rights group for using derogatory terms to describe COVID-19. A protester, right, holds a "Asian is not a virus" sign at a rally in Oakland, California on May 15, 2021. Getty Images
  • A Chinese-American civil rights group is suing former President Donald Trump for $22.9 million, TMZ said.

  • He is reportedly being sued for defamation and infliction of emotional distress on Asian Americans.

  • Trump has famously used offensive terms, such as "Wuhan Flu," and "Kung Flu," to describe COVID-19.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump is being sued by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition for defamation and infliction of emotional distress, according to a lawsuit seen by TMZ.

The civil rights group is arguing that Trump's use of derogatory terms for the coronavirus has led to a rise in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, TMZ reported.

The former president has famously used terms such as the "Chinese Virus," "China Virus," "Wuhan Flu," and "Kung Flu," to describe COVID-19.

The Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition is suing Trump for roughly $22.9 million, or $1 for every Asian American and Pacific Islander living in the United States, TMZ said.

The money would be used to establish a museum showcasing AAPI contributions to the US, the media outlet reported.

Read more: GGV Capital's call to raise money for the AAPI community raised $5 million from a group of 175 VCs and prominent tech founders

In recent months, there has been a spike in violence against Asian Americans. Most notably, in March, a fatal shooting at three Atlanta-area spas left eight dead, including six Asian women.

In April, more than 80 percent of Asian Americans said violence against them is on the rise, a Pew Research Study showed.

And one-in-five of those survey blamed Trump for the rising violence, the study said.

Experts told Insider that the disrespectful monikers for the coronavirus used by Trump perpetuate dangerous microaggressions against the AAPI communities, Insider's Lauren Frias reported.

Trump's first tweet about a "Chinese virus" resulted in a surge of anti-Asian hashtags on Twitter, Insider's Bill Bostock wrote in March.

Close-up photos of President Donald Trump's prepared remarks for a White House briefing in March 2020 first revealed the former president's penchant for the offensive terms. He crossed out part of the phrase "Corona Virus" and altered it to "Chinese Virus," Insider's Sonam Sheth reported.

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