How you take the following news depends on how much you trust an organization like the World Health Organization (WHO).
On Saturday, the Director-General of WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus released a statement declaring that “the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern.”
Ghebreysus noted the following as his reasons for such a declaration:
WHO’s assessment is that the risk of monkeypox is moderate globally and in all regions, except in the European region where we assess the risk as high.
There is also a clear risk of further international spread, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low for the moment.
So in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations.
The outbreak has been linked more to the gay community in past months, but entities like the United Nations have called to downplay such reporting for fear of being considered homophobic or racist.
“Stigma and blame undermine trust and capacity to respond effectively during outbreaks like this one,” UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Matthew Kavanagh said back in May. “Experience shows that stigmatizing rhetoric can quickly disable evidence-based response by stoking cycles of fear, driving people away from health services, impeding efforts to identify cases, and encouraging ineffective, punitive measures.”
Unfortunately, when you decrease awareness of a problem — especially when it affects a specific community more than others — that community is further adversely affected because of the manipulated ignorance, all for the possibility of not being called a homophobe.
The question then becomes, isn’t it “phobic” to not warn any specific community of a disease that might impact them more than others?
It’s a sad world we live in when political correctness trumps actually caring whether people get sick, and possibly even live or die.
For video of Ghebreysus' announcement, watch below:
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