Source: Hot Air
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, met with scientists this week to discuss best naming practices for diseases. The focus is to avoid offending any “ethnic, social, or professional groups and minimize harm to trade, travel, tourism, or animals.” Monkeypox is at the top of the agenda to receive a new name. Two clades (variants) of the disease have already been given new names.
The WHO released a statement on Friday announcing the new names of two variants of monkeypox. Using Roman numerals instead of geographic areas, the Congo Basin variant is now Clade one or 1 and the West Africa clade is Clade two or II. This is to avoid stigmatization. Is all of this political correctness run amok? It looks like it. Who are they afraid of offending? Monkeys? Africans from the Congo or West Africa? Other diseases are named using geographic locations and they aren’t being renamed. It’s like the coronavirus that came from Wuhan, China. No one was supposed to call it the Wuhan virus because it might offend Communist Chinese leaders.
Numerous other diseases, including Japanese encephalitis, Marburg virus, Spanish influenza and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome have been named after the geographic areas where they first arose or were identified. WHO has not publicly suggested changing any of those names.
Apparently we only follow the facts when it’s convenient and no one’s feeling get hurt.
Monkeypox has been around since 1958. The world’s population has managed to live with that name since then. It was a commonsense name at the time – research monkeys in Denmark were observed to have a pox-like disease. Monkeys are not thought to be the animal reservoir. Now that it is spreading globally and health experts are beginning to panic, calling it a health emergency, suddenly the virus needs a new name. The WHO declared the disease an international emergency in July. The U.S. declared its epidemic a national emergency this month. Before that, back in May, Sleepy Joe was pushing the panic button and telling Americans that “everybody” should be concerned about monkeypox.
The first human case of monkeypox was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, thus the name of that variant. The WHO is now reporting that it held an open forum to discuss a name change for the disease after a group of 30 scientists from Africa warned of an “urgent need” to change the name. It has a stigmatizing potential, they said. The virus has been reported in several other African countries and abroad. The Western outbreak began in May in the U.K., Portugal, and Spain. It has spread to the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany. Scientists are concerned about racist connotations and also stigma for the LGBTQ community. There have also been attacks on and poisoning of monkeys.
“Current best practise is that newly-identified viruses, related disease, and virus variants should be given names with the aim 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,” the statement said.
Naming virus species is the responsibility of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), which is currently considering an alternative name for the monkeypox virus.
I think there is an urgent need to alert gay men of how monkeypox spreads. Outside of Africa, 98% of cases are men who have sex with men. There is a limited global supply of vaccines. Health officials are rushing to stop monkeypox from becoming entrenched as a new disease. There’s been a lot of tippy-toeing around that fact out of fear of offending gay men. It isn’t exclusively gay men, it’s also bisexual men who have sex with women. Anyone can get it. Even children can get monkeypox from skin-to-skin contact. It is, however, stoppable. Scientists know how it is spread and how to stop it.
If Team Biden has declared monkeypox a national emergency, why hasn’t he ramped up vaccine production. There’s a shortage. The longer the virus hangs around and spreads, the more likely it produces variants, like what happened during the coronavirus pandemic. It gets more contagious. The Biden administration continues to prove how inept it is in dealing with emergencies. Where are the public service announcements targeting the communities most at risk? Biden seems to be asleep at the wheel once again.
Call the virus anything they want, more education and outreach is needed. Treat it like other STDs. Don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Name changes are just window dressing, politically correct window dressing.