Monkeypox is at present spreading throughout the nation (and the world at massive), with over 21,000 instances reported in america, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention as of August 22. After a faltering preliminary response, the White Home has taken a extra aggressive strategy in its response and outreach concerning the outbreak, which included the Aug. 2 appointment of a brand new Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator: Demetre Daskalakis. Daskalakis has a protracted resume of high-level public well being expertise—he served as covid incident commander for New York Metropolis and led the CDC’s HIV prevention division—however he additionally occurs to be the whole lot conservatives hate: sizzling, homosexual, and sometimes shirtless.
Famous fool and serial plagiarist Benny Johnson tweeted Thursday, “Meet Demetre Daskalakis. Demetre was simply appointed by Joe Biden to be the official White Home Nationwide Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. Demetre proudly wears the official image of the Church of Devil: The Pentagram. Joe Biden appointed a Satanist to the White Home.” Johnson’s use of “simply” is doing a whole lot of work, as Daskalakis’ appointment occurred a month in the past. Sustain, Benny. “I’m actually not a satanist,” Daskalakis tells The Advocate. And why do individuals suppose he’s? “It’s as a result of I put on high-fashion harnesses by Zana Bayne,” he cheekily replies.
Day by day Caller author Dylan Housman wrote, “Meet Joe Biden’s monkeypox czar: a ‘progressive, radical homosexual’ physician who performs HIV screenings in intercourse golf equipment and provides meningitis photographs in drag. Now he’s within the White Home.” Housman wrote a whole story about Daskalakis’ “suggestive clothes” and “dozens, if not a whole bunch, of shirtless pictures showcasing the physician’s physique.”
Proper-wingers like Johnson and Housman are having a discipline day with Daskalakis’ Instagram, with a whole lot of emphasis on the truth that Daskalakis has worn shirts and leather-based harnesses with designs that resemble pentagrams, which in flip confirms their beliefs that President Biden’s administration is dwelling to Satanists (the put up hoc propter hoc fallacy). Whereas the nice physician could generally sport a menacing leather-based star, he balances the unholy vibes out with an enormous tattoo of Jesus on his abdomen, amongst a number of different items of ink.
Disparaging feedback have flooded Daskalakis’ Instagram for the reason that harassment towards him started this week, and he has taken his profile personal. The White Home didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
What’s utterly unsurprising is how the conservative response to Daskalakis’ appointment entails criticism about his expression of sexuality, with little to say about how certified he could also be for this public well being place—he has levels from Columbia and Harvard, expertise as a director of Mount Sinai Well being System, and a protracted stint with the New York Metropolis Division of Well being and Psychological Hygiene. Earlier than becoming a member of the White Home, he was recognized to have a novel strategy to public well being, particularly in his quest to cater to the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. A profile within the Atlantic in 2014 quotes Daskalakis because the “homosexual well being warrior” who gave HIV and Hepatitis C screenings at a Manhattan S&M membership known as Paddles as patrons partied the evening away. Equally, NBC Information beforehand reported that Daskalakis would costume in drag as a nurse to present meningitis vaccines at intercourse golf equipment.
Whereas the right-wing rage towards Daskalakis seems to be drowning out his infectious illness expertise and inventive strategy to public well being, many have been fast to come to his protection.
After conservative radio persona Tim Younger wrote of Daskalakis’ appointment, “I’m not making this up,” David Holland, a professor of infectious illnesses at Emory College, responded, “No, you’re not. He’s a superb scientist, tireless public servant, and has all the time labored proper on the entrance traces, together with this superb advert marketing campaign. My buddy and my hero. Don’t be jealous as a result of he additionally seems to be higher than you together with his shirt off.”