Another day, another completely fucking stupid incident that leaves you wondering if some people are insane or dumb – or… both?
Just a few facts before we go any further…
Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on to through very close contact, which would typically, obviously, occur during sex.
Monkeypox is not a ‘gay disease’
While queer men have been disproportionately affected by Monkeypox in its first regional instances, ANYONE can get monkeypox if you have had close contact.
Health officials in most countries have both condemned and urged against reporting of the monkeypox virus that could be seen as racist and homophobic in nature, warning of adding fuel to unnecessary stigma which undermines the response effort and, unsurprisingly, can trigger homophobia or racism.
So as the virus (Monkeypox, not Marjorie) has started to rapidly grow in numbers across the US, Marj TG, who has spent months encouraging the notion that LGBTQ+ people are groomers, has wasted no time making connections that are simply insanely untrue.
In fact the ‘groomer slur’ has now become a frequent tool in the far-right arsenal – basically to create the impression that we (LGBTQ+ people) are all paedophiles.
When a video was posted to Twitter of CDC director Rochelle Walensky discussing two cases of childhood monkeypox in California, she added that they could be “traced back to individuals who come from the men who have sex with men community.”
Well, dear reader, I think it’s obvious where this is going.
Green tweeted, leadingly, saying: If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it?” (Bold font for the bit that is simply a complete lie… so, PLEASE do your thing, Twitter?)
If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it? pic.twitter.com/mvgSlxZ0Pp
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) July 23, 2022
WHO expert Andy Seale stressed the importance of remembering that monkeypox is not an illness that affects any one community more than others.
“Stigma and blame undermine trust and capacity to respond effectively during outbreaks like this one,” said the UNAIDS deputy executive director, Matthew Kavanagh.
“Experience shows that stigmatising 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.”
Now we have sitting members of congress making a false connection between monkeypox and child sexual abuse. This is so incredibly dangerous and will result in violence against LGBTQ people.
Monkeypox is not a STI. pic.twitter.com/fIu3hEazn7
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) July 24, 2022
Dr Hugh Adler, Honorary Clinical Research Fellow at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine told Newsweek :
“Children are at risk of acquiring [monkeypox] if they are a close household contact of a confirmed case, but this has very rarely occurred in the current outbreak,” Adler said. “This should be contrasted with the situation in West and Central Africa, where cases in children are not uncommon, and often associated with spread from wildlife. Monkeypox in children can be severe, which underlines the importance of isolating cases and bringing this outbreak to a close through case identification, isolation, contact tracing and vaccination.”
While Connor Bamford, a research fellow in virology and antiviral immunity told Newsweek told Newsweek.
“given this recent MPXV variant is different from previous ones we have studied, it’s not clear exactly how it could affect children. There have been children noted to be infected in this outbreak but they don’t seem to be at higher risk of severe disease or onward spread, although numbers are very, very low,” he said.
“In previous outbreaks with other variants in Africa it has been noted that children have died. Additionally, children may interact with other vulnerable groups like pregnant people. This being said, we know there are vulnerable people in all communities including [men who have sex with men].”