Monkeypox may be COVID-19 2.0 – at least in terms of putting wokeness over scientific accuracy.
During May 2020, in the initial outbreak of the COVID pandemic, former President Donald Trump and then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took heat for referring to the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus,” even though COVID originated in China and scientists had a long history of naming diseases after the geographic locations.
As the left-wing group Human Rights Watch noted in May 2020, “Government leaders and senior officials in some instances have directly or indirectly encouraged hate crimes, racism, or xenophobia by using anti-Chinese rhetoric.” Accordingly, the group added, “Governments should take urgent steps to prevent racist and xenophobic violence and discrimination linked to the Covid-19 pandemic while prosecuting racial attacks against Asians and people of Asian descent.”
Now, we have monkeypox.
On Sunday, Newsmax reported that the World Health Organization is “holding an open forum to rename the disease monkeypox, after some critics raised concerns the name could be derogatory or have racist connotations.”
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In fact, the process was underway. The WHO already has renamed two families of the virus to allegedly avoid stigma because they originated in Congo and West Africa.
“WHO said the decision was made following a meeting of scientists this week and in line with current best practices for naming diseases, which aims to ‘avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare,’” Newsmax reported.
Yet, the outlet added, the WHO is not considering a similar change for other viruses such as Japanese encephalitis, the Marburg virus, Spanish influenza and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome.
While monkeypox is a new virus to most Westerners, it is not a new illness.
Newsmax reported the name was created in 1958 when research monkeys in Denmark developed a “pox-like” disease.
“WHO said it was also opening a way for the public to suggest new names for monkeypox,” Newsmax added, “but did not say when any new name would be announced.”
The WHO debate is the second time in the three-month-old monkeypox outbreak that the virus has medaled in the wokelympics.
Unlike what happened in the early days of COVID, public health authorities and other government officials in America and other Western nations have declined to denounce or largely discourage the main transmission vector – sexual activity among gay men – for fear of stigmatizing them with the disease, even though, according to Newsmax, that has generated 98 percent of all monkeypox cases outside of Africa.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Free Press.
Editors Note: Talk to your doctor or clinic about your health and the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine and the Monkeypox outbreak.