Facts don’t care about your feels.
New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan wants the World Health Organization (WHO) to rename monkeypox because of “racism and stigma.”
We're calling on @WHO to act immediately to rename the “monkeypox” virus. We have a growing concern for the potentially stigmatizing effects that the messaging around the “monkeypox” virus can have on vulnerable communities. Read our letter: https://t.co/hC6L8o60TH pic.twitter.com/G8CQ9ueaMJ
— Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD (@NYCHealthCommr) July 26, 2022
It seems scientists called the virus monkeypox “due to an infection seen in research primates.” It didn’t originate in monkeys.
But Vasan thinks calling it “monkeypox” is somehow racist and stigmatizing.
Guess what. Facts don’t care about your feels:
Further, as we are reminded by fierce advocates who served on the front lines as the HIV/AIDS epidemic emerged, early misinformation about the virus led people to believe that it was spread to humans after people in Africa engaged in sexual activity with monkeys. This kind of false messaging created incalculable harm and stigma for decades to come. Continuing to use the term “monkeypox” to describe the current outbreak may reignite these traumatic feelings of racism and stigma — particularly for Black people and other people of color, as well as members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, and it is possible that they may avoid engaging in vital health care services because of it.
How about you teach people it didn’t come from Africans having sex with monkeys? But the fact is that it did come from Africa.
Vasan wants to ignore the fact that monkeypox has mostly affected men who engage in sexual activity with other men:
We fear the consequences due to “monkeypox” related stigma may be exacerbated given that in many contexts, transmission is concentrated among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men — a population we know to face ongoing stigma, marginalization, violence and even criminalization.
Like, wow, you guys. 95% of the cases are men who engage in sexual activity with men. Five deaths in Africa but no deaths outside of Africa.
Typical leftists. Ignoring science that does not agree with their agendas (emphasis mine):
“I think we have to talk more about sex,” says Yale School of Public Health epidemiologist and former HIV activist Gregg Gonsalves. “Everybody has been very clear about stigma, and saying it over and over again. The point is that you still have to address the risk of infection in our community.”
But most researchers say such “ascertainment bias” is unlikely to explain the striking pattern. Although some monkeypox patients have mild infections that may be missed or misdiagnosed, others have very characteristic rashes and agonizing pains that require hospitalization for pain treatment. If many people outside the MSM [sex with men] community had monkeypox, more would have shown up in the statistics by now.
Ashleigh Tuite, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, says she “understands the hesitation” to focus on MSM, given the risk of stigma that could worsen discrimination and cause those who are affected to delay seeking care. “But based on the data that we have, and based on the contact tracing that’s been done, it’s very clear that this is an MSM-focused outbreak at this point,” she says. “Anyone can get monkeypox, but we’re seeing disease activity primarily among” MSM, confirms Demetre Daskalakis, an HIV prevention specialist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How does Vasan explain NYC’s criteria for receiving the monkeypox vaccine?
This is literally from his own department. pic.twitter.com/fMOPCx9Ln9
— Mark Ashworth (@marklarflash) July 27, 2022
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