San Francisco and New York have issued local health emergency on monkeypox. The major US cities are in hopes that by issuing a state of emergency they will be more prepared and able to receive vaccines quickly.
Dr. Susan Philip, the San Francisco Public Health Officer, told CNN the state is taking monkeypox seriously as the city has over 260 confirmed cases. She says a top priority for the community right now is to avoid stigma.
“We think — from day one we were thinking about stigma and particularly this city, with its history of HIV/AIDS activism and advocacy from the community and alongside the Department of Public Health and our academic partners at UCSF, this is something we always think about. And so, our messaging and our work with community and in the public is really to avoid stigmatizing language, to avoid stigmatizing communities…”
The WHO has reported that men who have sex with men are at the highest risk of infection. Monkeypox expert, Rosamund Lewis says that 99% of monkeypox cases are men, and of that group 95% of those patients have sex with other men.
Tony Katz wants to know why then health officials are avoiding stigma when the data is very clear.
“There’s a big difference between attacking a group of people and recognizing a situation.”
Katz notes that being honest with the data would help bring down the larger fear society has of catching monkeypox. He adds that by pin-pointing who is at risk it will help doctors address the disease to the right people in the right way, “it’s about how you deliver the very best care.”
“If you make (medical) decisions over wokeness or about wokeness instead of what’s best for the patient, you’ll get people killed…your job is to listen to science, your job is to engage data, your job is to utilize your knowledge, not whether someone thinks you’re ‘woke enough’ in one patients room…medicine based on wokeism leads to death.”
There have been 6,617 cases of monkey pox reported in the US, 62 of those are in Indiana.