NYC health commissioner calls on WHO to change name of monkeypox virus
NYC health commissioner Ashwin Vasan wrote a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO), joining several health professionals urging them to change the name of the monkeypox virus.
The commissioner made clear in his letter that he feels the name monkeypox could bring back stigmas in both the Black and LGBTQ+ community.
Vasan is worried that if these stigmas arise, people could avoid getting the help they need if infected, referencing a similar occurrence during the heart of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
“They should change the name,” said Mark Thompson, a Canarsie local. “It is not from monkeys. They need to leave it alone and figure out where this is coming from.”
WHO announced over a month ago that monkeypox was categorized as a global health emergency, and that they were working with experts on changing the name.
According to city data, 1,092 people have contracted the monkeypox virus in New York City.