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