(Video Credit: Fox News)
Fox News host Tucker Carlson had his viewers vote on a new name for monkeypox after the New York City Health Department requested the World Health Organization (WHO) rename the virus because of the “racist” stigma attached to it.
Carlson joked that “the people” should get to decide on a new name for the virus. Via a Twitter poll on Thursday, his followers chose “Schlong COVID” as the new name for the disease that causes fever, muscle pain, lesions, and other symptoms and is disproportionately affecting gay men.
“So, monkeypox is about the coolest name ever for a disease… ‘Can’t come tonight, I got the monkey,’” Carlson quipped in his opening segment. “But they are changing the name because racism or something.”
“Well for once, we don’t know who they are and we are not going to allow it. We are going to change the name this time, we are going to do it with the public’s help because democracy is real,” he declared.
“So, we had a vote,” he announced. “There was no ballot harvesting. You can trust our counting. And the new name for monkeypox is now officially – and we’re declaring it – Schlong COVID. That won our audience election result with about 40% of the vote. So, let Rochelle Walensky at the CDC know. Her number is 1-800-232-4636. Wait for the prompt on monkeypox and make your voice heard because it’s still a democracy.”
What should we rename monkeypox?@DrTedros @CDCDirector
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) July 29, 2022
Carlson’s Twitter poll had more than 26,000 votes. Schlong COVID was chosen by 39 percent of respondents.
“Midterm Variant” came in second with 24 percent, while “Adam Schiffilis” came in third, with 20 percent. “Hunter Hives” was fifth, with 17 percent.
After announcing the poll results, Carlson was immediately branded “homophobic” and “cruel” by the left.
.@TuckerCarlson should be in charge of naming all viruses from here on out.
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) July 29, 2022
Tucker Carlson. Greatest of all time. pic.twitter.com/3lW4sZvxPs
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) July 29, 2022
A study from WHO shows that 95 percent of cases were contracted during sex between men. However, monkeypox is not just a disease affecting gay men. It is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials such as bedding, so it could emerge in the general population just as AIDS did.
In a letter to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gehebreyesus, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan noted that while New York City remains concerned about rapidly increasing transmission and limited access to testing resources and vaccine supply, it has a “growing concern” over the stigmatization and “potentially devastating” impacts the messaging around monkeypox can have on vulnerable communities.
We're calling on @WHO to act immediately to rename the “monkeypox” virus. We have a growing concern for the potentially stigmatizing effects that the messaging around the “monkeypox” virus can have on vulnerable communities. Read our letter: https://t.co/hC6L8o60TH pic.twitter.com/G8CQ9ueaMJ
— Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD (@NYCHealthCommr) July 26, 2022
“Therefore, I write to urge you to act immediately on renaming the ‘monkeypox’ virus as the WHO stated they would do during a June 14th press briefing, over [five] weeks ago. NYC joins many public health experts and community leaders who have expressed their serious concern about continuing to exclusively use the term ‘monkeypox’ given the stigma it may engender, and the painful and racist history within which terminology like this is rooted for communities of color,” he stated.
The WHO has already declared that the outbreak of the virus constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
“Stigma and discrimination can be as dangerous as any virus,” Tedros told reporters.
The NYC Health Commissioner is calling for the Monkeypox virus to be renamed to prevent stigma.
Reminder: the word MONKEYPOX is only racist if YOU are.
— Desi Cuellar (@DesiJCuellar) July 27, 2022
A group of scientists commented on a forum earlier in June that continued references to the virus being African “is not only inaccurate but is also discriminatory and stigmatizing,” according to Fox News.
“‘Monkeypox’ is a misnomer, as the virus does not originate in monkeys and was only classified as such due to an infection seen in research primates,” New York City Commissioner Ashwin Vasan remarked.
People are so concerned about stigma & perceived homophobia that they’d actually rather let gay men get infected by monkeypox than just say what’s obviously true: almost 100% of cases are among men having unprotected gay sex with multiple strangers, so they should stop that https://t.co/CD7nAPYcgv
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) July 22, 2022
Vasan claimed that using the term “monkeypox” could trigger feelings of racism and stigma, especially for black communities, other communities of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ communities.
“Words can save lives or put them at further risk; thus, the world cannot repeat these mistakes in nomenclature again,” he asserted, according to Fox News. “We are at a critical crossroads of the ‘monkeypox’ outbreak – before understanding and awareness of the virus is spread more widely, but also at a time of increasing transmission where we need to be broadly messaging about primary prevention and risk. The WHO must act in this moment before it is too late.”
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