New York City Loves to destroy science and embrace politics when it comes to public health. Witness his insane Monkeypox saga.
Mayor Eric Adams this weekend declared Monkeypox a “public health emergency” after the similar appeal by government leader Kathy Hochul.
Sounds serious! But in mid-July, the city issued advice on monkey pox (which spreads through close physical contact, in this outbreak especially among gay men) bizarrely saying that just covering lesions and avoiding kissing would be enough to slow the spread.
Don Weiss, a veteran of the city health department who has served on the front lines of several outbreaks, disagreed, saying publicly, arguing gay men should temporarily reduce their number of sexual partners to control infections. . He was then, he claims, punitively transferred; the city later rejected his ideas.
It’s the whole ugly story of COVID, all over again.
Naturally people (gay or straight) need to curb sexual activity to curb a disease spread through close physical contact. Even the World Health Organization agrees!
But concerns about “stigmatizing” gay men clearly led health czar Ashwin Vasan and his associates to reject Weiss’ sensible advice, and their guidance so far has remained unchanged despite the “emergency”.
The truth is, stigma has nothing to do with it. As Weiss emailed colleagues, “If we had an outbreak associated with bowling, wouldn’t we be warning people to stop bowling?” And stigma fears make terrible policy: Remember how public health “experts” at the start of the pandemic suggested it was racist (to Chinese) to worry about COVID not at all?
The contrast between the city’s reports of COVID and the monkey pox talk is astounding. In this ’emergency’, people are free to manage their own risk for the latest illness – while schools, businesses and life in general had to be closed for over a year due to COVID.
It is clear that our public health institution is too concerned about politics, not about the public it is supposed to protect.