(ANSA) – WASHINGTON, JUL 26 – The city of New York has asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to change the name of monkeypox, to avoid the risk of racism and discrimination that would lead those who fall ill to isolate themselves instead of seek the necessary care. The American media reported it.
“We are increasingly concerned about the potentially devastating and stigmatizing effects that monkeypox virus messages can have on an already vulnerable community,” writes New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan in a letter to the director of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The latter had also hinted at a possible name change as early as mid-June.
According to the health commissioner of the American metropolis, this “terminology” is “rooted in a racist and painful history for the African American community”. In the letter, Vasan also recalled the negative effects of false information that spread when the AIDS virus appeared and the episodes of racism against the Asian community when the then American President Donald Trump branded Covid-19 as the “virus. Chinese”.
“Continuing to use the term ‘monkeypox’ to describe the current epidemic can rekindle these racist sentiments, especially against blacks and other people of color, as well as against members of LGBTQIA + communities,” he wrote.
New York is the most affected city in the United States by the virus so far, with 1,092 cases since the outbreak began. (HANDLE).
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