On August 4, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox a national public health emergency. This decision was not based on medical conditions; rather, it was purely political.

On August 10, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported there were 9,492 cases of monkeypox in the United States. On August 6, a news story on CDC data reported that “fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) needed hospitalization due to monkeypox.” That means there were 759 hospitalizations.

A study published July 21 by the New England Journal of Medicine found that 98 percent of those infected with monkeypox were homosexual or bisexual men and that 75 percent where white.

Now contrast these numbers with what we know about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an infection that primarily affects young children during the fall and winter; there has been an uptick this summer.

“Each year in the United States,” the CDC reports, “RSV leads to an average approximately 58,000 hospitalizations with 100-500 deaths among children younger than 5 years old and 177,000 hospitalizations with 14,000 deaths among adults aged 65 years or older.”

No one has died of monkeypox in the United States.

Why has the Biden administration declared a national public health emergency for monkeypox, when only 759 have been hospitalized, while failing to do the same for RSV when 58,000 children are hospitalized each year for the virus?

In the New England Journal of Medicine study of men with monkeypox, it found that “the median number of sex partners in the previous 3 months was 5 partners” and that 20 percent had attended large gatherings, such as Pride events. The researchers also learned that 32 percent “were known to have visited sex-on-site venues within the previous month,” and that 20 percent had engaged in “chemsex,” meaning “sex associated with drugs such as mephedrone and crystal methamphetamine in the same period.”

Monkeypox is preventable—all it takes is for homosexual men to act responsibly and slam on the brakes, but for some unexplained reason, many refuse to do so.

Biden is privileging monkeypox because it is a mostly white gay man’s disease. In other words, those who won’t alter their behavior get the benefits of an emergency declaration, but innocent children suffering from RSV do not. It’s a national disgrace. Whatever happened to health equity?

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