The left’s preference for feelings over truth is one of its most pernicious characteristics. This tendency has emerged in the current discussion over the Monkeypox virus. When approaching these conversations, one would think being factual and forthright with the details about the disease would be the highest priority – especially if it means protecting public health. But instead, some on the left place greater value on feelings and political correctness than the truth.
Obfuscating the Truth About Monkeypox Victims
The Monkeypox outbreak has been a cause of concern globally as more people become infected. But the disease is not affecting demographics equally. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that the vast majority (98%) of those infected are men who have sexual relations with other men.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned about this reality and noted that “this is an outbreak that can be stopped” if people are informed and take precautions. However, some of the politically correct class seem more concerned about the stigma against gay and bisexual men than about making sure members of the public have the information they need.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist, discussed the virus during a recent appearance on CBS Mornings and pointed out to host Jericka Duncan that the
disease overwhelmingly affects men sleeping with other men. “Well, as much as many people don’t want to accept this, it is primarily a sexually transmitted infection just like herpes or syphilis,” he said, adding that “it’s a small group of very highly active sexually active gay men generally … getting infected with this.” Duncan pushed back: “This is not just men and women or homosexuals having sex, this could be someone who’s heterosexual although, you’re saying that’s the majority.”
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America host Cecilia Vega also sought to deny that Monkeypox overwhelmingly affects men who sleep with other men. She said: “I have heard this in my own life from friends and family members that this is predominantly, right now anyway, spreading between men who have sex with men and people feel like this is being — a community that’s being stigmatized because of this.”
Vega’s guest and ABC chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, concurred: “Right, and I think the language needs to be better. We should be focusing more on behavior, not a community. Terminology matters.” Ashton continued:
“Probably, a more accurate term is queer men and just four days ago, Cecilia, the CDC changed their language on their website to recommend vaccination for anyone who’s had multiple sex partners in the last 14 days, that didn’t make news headlines and I think people’s lives and their health are at stake and the communication has not been good thus far.”
In an interview with NPR, Gregg Gonsalves from the Yale School of Public Health expressed similar sentiments. When asked about “politicians and homophobes portraying gay men as vectors of disease,” he replied:
“Well, one is we have to figure out how to hold two thoughts in our head at once. One is it’s not a gay disease, but it’s happening among men who have sex with men. And what the federal government has actually been pretty good at is that they’ve been very, very vocal about the need not to stigmatize LGBT communities, gay men – not to discriminate against them. That being said, you know, we’ve already heard from certain politicians – particularly in the other party – that have tried to make this a way to scapegoat people in a moment of crisis. And, you know, we need to be fact-based in our prevention messages. And we have to just be very, very clear about the fact that discrimination and stigma are bad in a moral sense, but they also drive people away from care and prevention.”
Gonsalves also claimed that Monkeypox is “not a gay disease” and argued “there should be no stigma and discrimination.” He alluded to the AIDS panic in the mid-1980s, which also disproportionately impacted gay men.
Most folks do not wish to use the Monkeypox virus to ostracize or discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community. But there is nothing to be gained by downplaying the very real fact that the disease is affecting gay and bisexual men far more than anyone else. In fact, fixating on feelings to portray oneself as a good ally seems to be a distraction from critical conversations about a life-threatening issue. Unfortunately, for these people, being politically correct is more important than helping the people they claim to care about the most.