Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said that monkeypox is something to be “laughed at” because it only affects “some people.” The disease has primarily affected men who have sex with men so far.
“People just have to laugh at it, mock it, and reject it,” she said, adding that monkeypox is a “scam” like COVID-19.
Journalist Allison Royal posted video to the rightwing video sharing platform Rumble of a short interview she did with Greene at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa. Royal asked Greene about how the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern this past weekend.
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“How can Congress ensure that this doesn’t turn into another COVID ‘pandemic’ that steals another few years of our lives?” Royal asked.
“Of course, monkeypox is a threat to some people in our population,” Greene said. “But we know what causes it, and that’s pretty much, um… it’s basically a sexually transmitted disease. So it’s not a threat to most of the population.”
“People just have to laugh at it, mock it, and reject it,” she said. “It’s another scam,” she added, referring to COVID-19.
Greene is incorrect; monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection. The disease is spread through direct contact with lesions, prolonged face-to-face contact, touching items like clothes and linens that an infected person used, or via the placenta to a fetus.
Currently, most cases have been among gay and bi men, but the World Health Organization is already suggesting that that could be because gay and bi men are “the canary in the mine that’s alerting us to a new disease that could spread to other groups.”
Greene’s statement that Americans should “laugh at” and “mock” monkeypox because it’s primarily affecting gay and bi men at the moment comes as LGBTQ advocates are accusing the U.S. government of not taking the disease seriously enough because of the identities of the people who are being most affected right now.
“The U.S. government intentionally de-prioritized gay men’s health in the midst of an out-of-control outbreak because of a potential bioterrorist threat that does not currently exist,” said Brooklyn-based gay health activist James Krellenstein.
Marjorie Taylor Greene urged people to laugh and mock the monkeypox “scam,” dismissing it as “a sexually transmitted disease” only threatening a specific group of people.
Greene: “People have to laugh at it, mock it, and reject it. It’s another scam.” pic.twitter.com/GB3UvcPZTy
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) July 26, 2022