Monkeypoxing Around with 'Don’t Say Gay'

Florida recently passed the “Parental Rights in Education” law which was rather straightforward and common sensical. Specifically, as NBC News reported at the time, "HB 1557 prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in Grades K-3." How novel a concept, not teaching these inappropriate topics in school to under age 10 children, instead leaving it to parents to decide if and how to breach these discussions with their young children.

The corporate media and the Left went berserk that schools couldn’t teach or encourage first graders to choose their own gender. They falsely labeled the law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, despite the law not containing the word “gay.” That catchy phrase was a hit among far-left Democrats, so they found a new use for “Don’t Say Gay,” attaching it to the latest health scare, monkeypox.

If only this moniker was a bit of playful monkeyshines, it would be a non-issue. Instead, this is a “global health emergency, as the World Health Organization declared a few weeks ago. At the time of this declaration, there were 16,000 reported cases of monkeypox in 75 countries and five deaths, but no deaths in the U.S. A dozen-plus Americans die in Chicago on an average weekend due to criminal gun violence but that doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a “health emergency.” The Biden administration, quick to jump on the monkeypox train, also declared it a public health emergency in the U.S.

Is this truly a public health emergency or simply a convenient distraction from inflation, recession, open borders, and a rogue FBI and DOJ?

Monkeypox is not a novel virus and generally is not fatal, instead it is a nuisance disease that is quite selective as to who it afflicts. First discovered in 1958 in monkeys, the first human case was in 1970. Monkeypox is almost exclusively confined to the gay community, specifically “men who have sex with men," as the six-word replacement for the formerly used single word “gay.” The CDC says that “99% of monkeypox transmission is happening between men who have sex with men.”

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Why did the WHO declare monkeypox a global health emergency? Their explanation is because it “has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission about which we understand too little.” The same could be said about radical Islamic terrorism over the past two decades but that isn’t called a “global health emergency.” Yet in the same UN announcement they acknowledge, “For the moment the Monkeypox outbreak is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners.”

They understand plenty, not “too little”, that monkeypox is almost exclusively confined to “men who have sex with men.” Yet the health authorities are playing the “don’t say gay” card.

The CDC recommended “That people ‘take a temporary break’ from sexual activity until considered vaccinated; limit their number of sexual partners; avoid ‘spaces’ for anonymous sex with multiple partners; use condoms; and wear gloves during particular sexual activities.” They avoided the elephant in the room, specifically the highest risk group, in their zeal to “don’t say gay.”

Proper public health means identifying a disease and its risk factors, with recommendations to avoid high-risk behaviors, particularity if such behaviors occur predominantly in a particular population group. Health authorities target weight-loss messages to the obese and smoking cessation to smokers. It’s not to stigmatize, but instead to be honest, directing resources where they are most needed and will provide the most benefit.

To the Left, however, being honest creates a stigma. CNN reports: “There’s a stigma” over the government’s response to monkeypox. NPR agrees: “As monkeypox spreads, know the difference between warning and stigmatizing people.” Why is it stigmatizing to acknowledge reality, that monkeypox is largely driven by particular behaviors in a select population?

Is it stigmatizing to men that prostate screening is targeted toward men? Or that breast cancer screening is targeted at women? Viruses aren’t concerned with stigmas or wokeness They spread among susceptible populations, without concern for political correctness or anyone’s feelings.

AIDS was treated similarly, public health officials saying that everyone was at risk when in reality it was a disease almost exclusively limited to gay men, IV drug users, and blood transfusion recipients. Awareness campaigns aimed at the high-risk groups made far more sense than telling everyone that they were at risk, needlessly scaring most of the population who were at almost zero risk of contracting AIDS.

We also saw this with COVID, treating all populations the same in terms of masks, distancing, and vaccinations, rather than focusing attention and resources on the most vulnerable groups. Like it or not, viruses do discriminate and don’t give a whit about equity and diversity, instead preying on the vulnerable, regardless of gender, sexual preference, skin color, or religion. In other words, viruses are not woke, unlike government and public health agencies.

Apart from “don’t say gay,” the CDC is also saying, “don’t say STD.” From the CDC website, “Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but it is often transmitted through close, sustained physical contact, which can include sexual contact.” So, it’s transmitted through sexual contact but is not a sexually transmitted disease? How exactly does that work?

On another website, the CDC notes that monkeypox spreads through, “Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox.” That description sure sounds like that of an STD. Unless the CDC has redefined sex, like the Biden Administration redefined recession. Perhaps Bill Clinton can comment on the definition of sex, as he redefined it during his Monica Lewinsky fling: “sex” was different than “sexual relations.” Maybe that applies in Arkansas, but not to the rest of us.

The CDC’s own definition,  “STDs pass from one person to another through vaginal, oral, and anal sex.” So monkeypox fits the CDC definition of an STD by the CDC’s own description, yet is not an STD. I’m confused. This only makes sense to the CDC. I await Dr. Fauci’s clarification of such nuance.

Finally there is this fly in the ointment, the potential relationship between COVID vaccines and impaired innate immunity, as this recent paper in Food and Chemical Toxicology describes. The Lancet published a study several months ago that, “showed that immune function among vaccinated individuals 8 months after the administration of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine was lower than that among the unvaccinated individuals.”

Wouldn’t this possibility be of interest to the CDC? Or is this verboten to ask about or discuss? Is it simply a coincidence that monkeypox has broken out now, rather than a year or a decade ago? Even in the heyday of AIDS in the 1990s we didn’t hear about monkeypox.

The CDC’s mission is, “to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S.” How is ignoring science regarding monkeypox and transmission providing better health or safety? Why is the CDC not “following the science”? In their effort to “don’t say gay,” the CDC is doing a disservice to their mission and to the public they are charged with serving and protecting.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.

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