Talk about a flat learning curve. In my defense, I continue to bend over backwards (metaphorically) to believe that the people who work for Joe Biden are really trying to do the right thing, they just don’t have a clue what the right things are. Then they do something like putting corrupt Clinton operative John Podesta (remember his emails detailing the ways Hillary cheated during her campaign?) in charge of $370 billion for anti-climate change measures. Sure, put someone dishonest in control of $370 billion…what could go wrong? But hey, I think: it’s just a mistake. Joe is addled. Let’s not be too judgmental.
Then Biden puts the guy above as the White House monkeypox coordinator. That’s not a gag photo, and I’m not kidding. That’s Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, formerly the director of the CDC Division of HIV prevention. Okay, he’s flamboyantly gay: I have no problem with that, I guess. I’m old fashioned: I think government officials who represent the whole nation’s interests should avoid unprofessional demeanor and open exhibitions of fealty to particular groups, but I’ll keep an open mind.
My problem is this: Daskalakis has made it clear in his statements to the gay community that being honest about who monkeypox almost exclusively infects creates a “stigma,” so the policy should be to bury and obscure the facts and claim monkeypox infects everyone regardless of their conduct and lifestyle.
In “Monkeypox: Avoiding the Mistakes of Past Infectious Disease,” Daskalakis and his co-authors warned “[e]xperience has shown the dangers of characterizing a disease by associating it with a single population or a particular identity. Such associations can create stigma that outlives the outbreak and lost opportunities to detect and address the infection in other populations. Knowledge is power.”
Yup, that’s the CDC all right. It was the CDC’s approach to AIDS, as it issued dire warnings about regular heterosexual vaginal sex as if it was as equally risky as anal sex; it was the CDC’s approach to the Wuhan virus, too, as the public was never fully informed the extreme degree to which fatalities were concentrated in the very old, the very sick, and the obese. But Daskalakis is also a member of the group that risks being “stignatized’ because it is almost single-handedly responsible for the monkeypox outbreak.
The important thing, of course, is that he creates inclusion and diversity. The fact that he can’t be believed and will be insisting that straight, monogamous couples are as much at risk as gay promiscuous ones to avoid “stigmas”is a small price to pay.
Oh! The new White House hire also once owned a Satanic-themed gym, and maybe still does. Another historic inclusion check-box checked!
Pointer: Ace of Spades
5 thoughts on “KABOOM! My Head Exploded Because I Underestimated Just How Bonkers The Values Of The Biden Administration Are. Again.”
Well, when your priority is to showcase how diverse you are rather than fix the problems you and your allies (Okay, I’ll be fair…and sometimes your opponents) have caused, this makes perfect sense.
Stigma serves a purpose. Being stigmatized forces people think about the choices they make. Imagine a world in which any behavior could be rationalized away because it might make the person feel stigmatized for engaging in that behavior.
If creating a stigma is inherently bad, then why do all those who claim to be such righteous inclusive and diversity loving people typically resort to associating their opposition to heinous political movements. How often is the term racist, xenophobe, homophobe thrown around just to end any debate?
Daskalakis has his flamboyant gay schtick which helps him achieve notoriety. That’s all. That, however, does not make him an expert on anything and his photo indicates to me that he has zero sensibility about his image if he wants to work in a leadership role in government. That photo is no different than the sexually provocative photos of teachers that can be found on the Internet.
I originally thought the dyed-fire engine red mohawked puppy-play guy was put in charge of disposing nuclear waste was just a fluke. I was wrong, but I do look forward to what KJP will be replaced with.
As health care professionals, we are not allowed to inquire about a patient’s HIV status to protect the patient from being stigmatized. We are required, even in the 21st century, to inquire a patient to answer the following questions: “Does the house you live in have running water?’, Does the house you live in have an indoor toilet?” “Is there electricity in the place where you live.”
I was providing anesthesia one day for patients having ENT procedures. The first patient of the day was a 2-year-old to have tubes put in his ears. The chart I was given was 48 pages deep, with sheets covering the inane and irrelevant socioeconomic questions that had nothing to do with his medical situation. The second patient of the day was a 20 y/o about to have sinus surgery. His chart was also deep with inane and irrelevant socioeconomic questions, but nowhere was it documented that he was actively HIV positive. (He voluntarily told me that in a whisper as I was starting his IV).
Our approach to health care is negatively impacted by our fear that one may be “stigmatized.” In health care and other forums of life, we have been “politically corrected” to avoid “the embarrassment” of others when in fact “embarrassing questions” need to be asked and answered.
It was done with HIV, it is now done with monkeypox. It is being done with transgender-affirming care.
No one is asking or informing the public of the pathophysiological facts for fear of stigmatizing and/or being marked as being imbued with a laundry list of negative attributes.
“Oh! The new White House hire also once owned a Satanic-themed gym, and maybe still does. Another historic inclusion check-box checked!”
Well… First: I’m apparently out of the loop when it comes to kink equipment, but I did notice that the harness the doctor is wearing is a star inside a pentagram.
Second: I’ve never seen a man who hit me as more at-risk for monkeypox in my life…. So maybe an interested person, if not the most responsible.
Third: This hire strikes me as very similar to Sam Brinton, the nonbinary drag queen appointed to Biden’s Department of Energy working with nuclear waste. I’m sure that both Sam and Demetre are qualified (Sam was, at least), but there’s more to life than just being qualified.
We had the discussion about Kyle Kashuv, the conservative student who was present at the Parkland School Shooting, who had his admission to Harvard rescinded after some racially insensitive comments he made when he was 16 surfaced. My point then, as it is now, is that Harvard was safe to rescind that application. Acceptance to Harvard is competitive, and while Kyle might have had a perfect GPA and been eminently qualified, there were a dozen other young people with perfect GPAs and eminent qualifications that didn’t make shitty racial comments. I’m sure it sucks, I don’t even think the math is particularly hard.
Which is why these appointments gall. There had to be qualified personnel that don’t have public centerfolds in kink gear out there. This should be the naked teacher principle on steroids. And yet the administration seems to actively seek people out. See also Rachel Levine – The transgender health official from Pennsylvania who’s main claim to fame (aside from being trans) was mishandling the state’s Covid response and not following her own standards with her mother: While it was technically allowed for Levine to transfer her mother out of the care facility she was in, it was only allowed because the facility wasn’t under Levine’s control, and all the facilities she was in control of were in lockdown.
There HAD to be someone better. There HAD to be a doctor who wasn’t a Covid hypocrite. There HAD to be a doctor who hadn’t directly caused the deaths of thousands of seniors. HAD to be. But maybe there wasn’t another female doctor with a penis. And that was enough.