WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Tuesday that the organization is “working with partners and experts from around the world” to change the virus’ name as quickly as possible, Bloomberg reported.
A WHO spokesperson told Bloomberg in an email that the organization is working with experts on the virus to come up with a different name.
“[Naming a disease] should be done with the aim to minimize the negative impact and avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups,” the spokesperson said.
The decision comes after dozens of international scientists called for the change in a letter highlighting the so-called “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing nomenclature for monkeypox virus.”
In the letter, the scientists said that referring to the virus as an ‘African’ virus is not only ‘inaccurate’ but ‘discriminatory’ and ‘stigmatizing’.
The Foreign Press Association, Africa also discouraged people from using images of Africans when discussing the Monkeypox virus.
The Foreign Press Association, Africa registers its displeasure against media outlets using images of black people alongside stories of the #monkeypox outbreak in North America and the United Kingdom. pic.twitter.com/u32yWLELJg
— FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION, AFRICA (@FPA_Africa) May 21, 2022
The move follows a broader trend of the WHO and public health organizations aligning with woke initiatives.
The WHO intentionally skipped over using “Xi’ to refer to any variant of Covid-19 to avoid offending ethnic groups.
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