Politics

Donald Trump Jr. claims monkeypox is a hoax to make money

Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.Photo: Screenshot

As cases of monkeypox spring up all over the world, conservatives in the U.S. are already taking their arguments that COVID-19 was a fake disease and applying them to monkeypox with little regard for scientific accuracy.

“The ‘k’ in Monkeypox is silent,” reads a meme Donald Trump Jr. posted to Instagram. It had a picture of a chimpanzee and $100 bills in the background, and the implication is that there are people who made up the disease in order to make money somehow.

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“Gosh its so ‘handy’ they already had millions of doses of Monkeypox vaccines on hand. So so convenient. And not suspicious at all right???” someone commented on the post.

The smallpox vaccine – the first vaccine to be developed against a contagious disease – is 85% effective against monkeypox. The smallpox vaccine was developed in 1798.

“If this government tries to pimp MonkeyPox as a real thing..im literally going to go ape shit,” another commenter wrote.

Monkeypox causes blisters, fever, headache, muscle pains, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. If untreated, the risk of death can be as high as 10%.

Monkeypox was first identified in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There was a small outbreak in 2003 in the U.S., with no deaths. There have only been 92 confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide so far this year due to the current outbreak.

There is no reason to believe that monkeypox is a hoax – it is a disease that has been identified in 21 countries so far this year. But facts didn’t stop many on the right from saying that COVID-19 itself was a hoax, with patients getting angry at medical staff when they were diagnosed with COVID because they believed the disease was made up.

“We had someone spit in a nurse’s eye because she told him he had COVID and he didn’t believe her,” Steve Edwards, the president and CEO of CoxHealth, said last year.

The assertion that COVID-19 was a hoax was so detached from reality that the same baseless claim can be applied to any disease, and influential Republicans like Trump are ready to make that argument should the monkeypox outbreak become severe in the U.S.

 

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