Monkeypox has become a global emergency due to political correctness

Condé Nast’s LGBT site at the end of May them.us has gone to great lengths to distance the emerging viral scourge known as monkeypox from the key demographic of gays who catch it.

“Monkey Pox Virus Affects Queer Men, But Has Nothing to Do With Being Queer,” said the article, “where the majority of cases are [the] The current global epidemic identifies gay or bisexual men … with no connection between identity and disease.

“It is not good for public health to condemn the gay community or gay behavior,” it concluded.

Last week, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a full-scale global emergency, as the disease spread rapidly in just three months. By the end of May, 100 people had contracted the virus; According to the CDC, there are now more than 18,000 cases worldwide, with about 4,000 in the US alone. New York State is also calling monkeypox an “imminent threat.”

That’s right, gay people are not “responsible” for the outbreak of monkeypox. Like HIV or COVID-19, viruses do not target specific communities. But almost all of the early cases of monkeypox occurred at large-scale “territorial parties” in Europe, which were mostly attended by gay men. It’s not a stigma – it’s just a fact.

Also fact: Close physical contact was not the primary mode of transmission. Monkeypox is spread through skin-to-skin contact—the type of close physical contact that occurs at parties where groups of half-dressed men dance in close quarters. (Surprisingly, district parties were also early cases of the spread of COVID).

The reluctance of the “woke” media and nervous health authorities to make this link public is a shame. Their political correctness helped spread the disease.

Headlines like them.us on Condé Nast’s LGBT site have worked overtime to distance monkeypox from gay men, but they have been a major risk group since the outbreak began.
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Although most of the May cases were related to gay men’s social spaces, most media outlets not only refused to acknowledge this, they said it encouraged discrimination.

“Charities warn against stigmatizing gay and bisexual groups,” announced The Independent. “Could monkeypox bring about a new wave of homophobia,” Slate wondered. “Blaming gay men for monkeypox will hurt everyone,” predicted Science America.

Even the UN has weighed in on the monkeypox blame game, saying in a May 22 release that the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) was concerned that “reports and comments in some media are reinforcing homophobic and racist stereotypes.”

A close-up of the monkeypox virus, which has now infected nearly 20,000 people worldwide, including 4,700 cases in the United States.  Although rarely fatal, the disease causes fever and painful sores.
A close-up of the monkeypox virus, which has now infected nearly 20,000 people worldwide, including 4,700 cases in the United States. Although rarely fatal, the disease causes fever and painful sores.
shutterstock

Few things are more predictable than progressives blaming racism and homophobia for social ills, but the monkeypox outbreak takes it to a whole new level. As with other “woke” obsessions like gun violence or the transgender debate, the insistence on putting politics ahead of data and science has produced confused messages and very few solutions.

Now, the irony is that LGBT leaders are singing a different tune. With hundreds of cases in New York City and other metropolitan areas, nearly all of which have been identified in gay men, monkeypox has suddenly become a “queer” disease, with community leaders blasting local health departments for failing to adequately address the LGBT community. “Public Health Disorder” California State Senator. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Matt Haney described the federal government’s response this month.

A shortage of monkeypox vaccines — along with widespread vaccination coverage in the U.S. — has been blamed on “homophobia” and “collective indifference,” according to a Los Angeles Times headline last week. The disease often affects the LGBTQ community.

Unlike many sexually transmitted infections, monkeypox is spread through skin-to-skin contact—which helps speed its spread.  Confused messaging and mismanaged vaccination programs have made matters worse.
Unlike many sexually transmitted infections, monkeypox is spread through skin-to-skin contact—which helps speed its spread. Confused messaging and mismanaged vaccination programs have made matters worse.
shutterstock

As a gay man of a certain age, this sounds all too familiar. Nearly four decades ago, in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, doctors and LGBT community leaders urged gay men to practice safer sex after it became clear that Larry Kramer had sexually transmitted HIV to gay men. Some did, but others refused, citing the shame and stigma that came with being singled out as a minority population. Although thousands died, the US government waited too long to sound the alarm, and the reluctance of some gay men to accept the fact that the virus was spreading allowed the plague to grow faster.

Although monkeypox is not usually fatal (it causes a nasty rash and fever), it has so much in common with AIDS: political correctness may have accelerated its status as a global health emergency. When an infectious disease emerges, people deserve to know the facts: how does it spread and who is most likely to be affected? Avoiding the truth helps no one.

dkaufman@nypost.com

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