Scientists Demand Monkeypox Be Renamed: It's 'Discriminatory,' 'Stigmatizing,' and Of Course, ‘Racist'
I didn't write about it when we first covered monkeypox, but I knew--I had the feeling--someone would come forward to call the nomenclature racist. People had to first step in to defend those at the tippy top of the victim hierarchy (the LGBTQ+ lobby) because it originally spread because of a bunch of gay fetishists in Europe, but after that, someone had to step up to call it racist.
Well, it has happened, and a contingent of scientists are demanding the names used to refer to different strains of the virus be changed, citing that the various clades (organisms having a common ancestor) are referred to by the region in which they originated: West African, Central African, and Congo Basin. According to Stat News, the authors of the paper argue that because a global outbreak like the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't referred to by the place of origin neither should monkeypox be referred to in that fashion."If SARS-CoV-2, for instance, was not named the Wuhan virus […] then the question is, why do we have a virus or a clade named after a specific geographical location in Africa, and then by extension that extends to the people in those areas. If we have to go by geographical location, then we should name all viruses by geographic location."
One of the authors also took issue with the media depiction of the virus and the fact that most images being paired with reports are those of Africans with characteristic monkeypox legions. He points out that the current outbreak is among many European (white) men. And that may be a fair point, except I can almost guarantee that the publicly available photos of the malady are from previous studies or coverage of African outbreaks (because it's far more common in Africa) and images of those presently suffering from it in Europe are probably protected by various laws regarding medical privacy. This is certainly the case for the handful of people in America.
The author doesn't care to take that into account, though, choosing instead to call the depictions "very discriminatory," "very stigmatizing," and "very racist."
He's very eloquent, yes?
Be prepared for several diseases to change names in the near future, as they will all be deemed incredibly offensive based on one line of tortured thought or another. I don't envy all the MD students who will be forced to memorize an entirely new list of names here soon.
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