Monkeypox is not the next COVID-19

After Americans survived 30 months of having our lives upended with unfair and unpredictable pandemic restrictions, we should be skeptical as monkeypox is irresponsibly pitched as the "new COVID-19" by the media and some in the medical-industrial complex, headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In a recent interview with CNN's Major Garrett, Dr. Fauci's initial reassurance that monkeypox was less transmissible than COVID-19 quickly transitioned to concern for a monkeypox virus, as Fauci chose to describe it, "characterized by pustules."  Fauci then pivoted to stockpiled smallpox vaccines and antiviral drugs to treat a potential national epidemic of monkeypox.  Adding fuel to the fear-mongering fire, President Biden recently said that monkeypox "is something everyone should be concerned about." 

The New York Times warns of two high-risk groups with monkeypox.  "One comprises infants younger than six months," and the other, "many older adults, the group most likely to succumb to the monkeypox virus, are at least somewhat protected by decades-old smallpox vaccinations."  The author adds Fauci's troubling admonition: "We can't guarantee that a person who was vaccinated against smallpox is still going to be protected against monkeypox."

A spreading virus lethal to old people and vulnerable infants, requiring a vaccine that might not last, sounds very much like COVID-19.  But it isn't.  Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus, first identified in 1958. It is rare and extremely difficult to catch, and the prognosis for complete recovery is excellent, with a mortality rate of 1 percent in Africa and virtually zero in the developed world.

The World Health Organization and the CDC have been reassuring about monkeypox.  Dr. David Heymann, the former head of the WHO's emergency department, said in an interview with the Associated Press that the spread was most likely linked to close, intimate contact among men at two rave parties held in Spain and Belgium and that the outbreak was "unlikely to trigger widespread transmission."  All cases in the United States have been in men who traveled outside the country.  The Mayo Clinic's Dr. Gregory Poland concludes, "The average person should have near zero concern."

How difficult would it be for Fauci to just say the plain truth rather than stoking the fears of justifiably terrified Americans with his gobbledygook?

Horribly inaccurate modeling needlessly shuttered hospitals throughout the early days of COVID.  This, together with the inability of vaccines to prevent people from catching COVID-19, left Fauci limping into the spring of 2022 with merely 31 percent of the country able to say they trust his advice.

Failed policies of the pandemic placed COVID-19-contagious patients in nursing homes, where 200,000 Americans lost their lives while locking down, vaccinating, and masking healthy and virtually immune young people.  Those decisions may have helped to create a mental health epidemic that claimed 107,000 lives through overdose in 2021 alone.

This or any future administration will need to regain the trust of the public before asking for the sacrifices necessary to rise to the challenge of the next pandemic.  Thankfully, monkeypox is not that threat.

Fauci, now 81 years old, has served under seven presidents since he was hired for his current job thirty-eight years ago.  Perhaps it is time for some fresh leadership when it comes to the nation's top medical adviser.

Matt Dean ( is a senior fellow for health care policy outreach with The Heartland Institute.

Image: Pixabay.

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