NYC loves to crush science and open up to politics when it comes to public health. Just experience his insane monkeypox saga.
Mayor Eric Adams this weekend declared monkeypox a “public health emergency” after a similar call from Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Sounds serious! But in mid-July, the city issued advice on monkeypox (which is spread through close physical contact, mostly among gay men in this outbreak), bizarrely saying that simply covering lesions and avoiding kissing would be enough to slow the spread .
Don Weiss, a city health department veteran who has served on the frontlines of various outbreaks, disagreed and said so publicly, arguing instead that gay men should temporarily reduce their number of sexual partners to control infection. He was then, he claims, put under punishment; the city later rejected his ideas.
It’s the whole ugly story of COVID all over again.
Of course People (gay or straight) should limit sexual activity to curb a disease transmitted through close physical contact. Even the World Health Organization agrees!
But concerns about the “stigma” of gay men clearly caused the city’s health czar, Ashwin Vasan, and his lackeys to reject Weiss’ sound advice, and their guidance has so far remained unchanged despite the “emergency.”
The truth is that stigma has nothing to do with it. As Weiss emailed colleagues, “If we had an outbreak related to bowling, wouldn’t we warn people to stop bowling?” And fears about stigma make terrible politics: Think of how ” “Public health experts” at the beginning of the pandemic implied that it was racist (towards the Chinese) to worry about COVID at all?
The contrast between the city’s messages on COVID and their monkeypox talk is startling. In this ’emergency’, people are free to manage their own risk of the latter disease – while schools, businesses and life in general have been closed for more than a year because of COVID.
It’s clear that our public health system cares too much about politics and not protecting the public it claims to serve.