This Week in the Mayonnaise Clinic: Monkeypox
Has COVID made us better at responding at infectious disease outbreaks? Signs point to no.
Happy Tuesday! Dan Diamond, a health policy reporter at The Washington Post, asks:
You've frequently shared your views on COVID, but I'm not sure I've seen you weigh in on monkeypox. Are you tracking that emerging outbreak, and if so, what do you make of the early response to it?
Apparently Dan missed my appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher last month, in which I had the unique experience of declaring my monkeypox risk factors while sitting next to Kellyanne Conway. It went like this (you can find the exchange starting at 40:46 in the audio podcast of the show):
Bill Maher: People vote on safety… whatever people feel, it’s human nature, now it’s monkeypox, even though that’s bullshit, but they will get people ginned up about that.
Me: Well, it exists.
Bill: It exists, yes, but you’re not going to get it.
Me: If anyone’s going to get it, it’s probably me.
Me: Because I’m a gay man. It’s spreading among men who have sex with men —
Bill: Who’s fucking a monkey?
Me: …No. There’s human-to-human transmission of it.
Me: There’s human-to-human transmission of monkeypox. It’s not a COVID-level problem, but it is a real problem. People shouldn’t dismiss it, especially if they have particular risk for it.
Bill: Okay, I’ll start hoarding bananas tomorrow.