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According to the New York Times the US is currently “losing the fight with Monkeypox”. That’s probably news to you.
After all, given the fact the US has around 700 cases of Monkeypox (around 0.0002% of the population), that the entire world only 8000 “cases” (about 0.0001%), and that there have been just 3 reported deaths…well, you’d be forgiven for not realizing there was a fight at all, let alone that we were losing.
It’s really more of a kerfuffle. At worst. Perhaps a fracas.
That is – of course – assuming there is any monkeypox “outbreak” at all, something we should never take on faith, especially in the post-Covid world.
Nevertheless, the NYT is sure…
There probably will be many more infections before the outbreak can be controlled, if at this point it can be controlled at all.
The US isn’t the only place getting a fresh batch of monkeypox fear porn this week.
Five days ago it was reported that Australia had recorded its first “case”, with the under-stated headline…
KILLER VIRUS SUDDENLY SPREADS IN AUSTRALIA
…clearly this went too far, even for the mainstream media, who quietly reworded the title a few hours later.
Not to be outdone, two days later New Zealand announced their first monkeypox case was isolating at home.
And just 15 minutes ago, at the time of writing, The Guardian published a news story headlined:
Efforts to curb UK monkeypox outbreak inadequate, warn experts
So, what is the cause of mankind’s imminent loss to the monkeypox peril? Well they really couldn’t be clearer about that – we’re not testing enough.
The NYT goes on about this at length:
the response in the United States has been sluggish and timid, reminiscent of the early days of the Covid pandemic, experts say, raising troubling questions about the nation’s preparedness for pandemic threats.
[…] The first cases of monkeypox were reported in May, but tests will not be readily available until sometime this month.
[…] The first missteps in the U.S. response to monkeypox were in testing. As in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, samples from monkeypox patients are being funneled to the CDC for final diagnosis, a process that can take days.
Slate agrees, headlining “We Need to Keep Better Track of Monkeypox” and quoting on “expert”:
Testing is the key piece in getting answers to these questions, and currently we simply are not doing enough of it.”
We’ve seen this movie before, we know how it goes from here.
Since, as the NYT points out, Monkeypox tests will be “readily available sometime this month”, we can expect a BIG spike in cases coming up.
Far from being recognised for what it is – a huge number of false positives caused by PCR tests – this increase in cases will be sold as the “true size of the outbreak” after weeks of calling current “case” numbers “likely underestimates”.
The solution, we know, will be “increasing vaccine coverage” or “helping immunize the most vulnerable” or some buzz phrase like that.
But oh no! We don’t have enough vaccines!
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At least, according the New York Times, and LA Times, and CBS, and Science and New York Magazine and NPR and NBC and the New York Post and…
…it’s the prevalent message, is what I’m trying to say.
Don’t worry though, a VERY familiar hero is about to ride over the horizon on a white horse:
Moderna is investigating potential monkeypox vaccines at a preclinical level, using its mRNA platform,”
Yes, Moderna started working on a new mRNA monkeypox vaccine back in May…so by Covid rules they’re probably nearly done by now.
Just inject in precisely one person, and if they don’t die instantly on the spot then it’s safe.
…and if they DO then they were already sick and the trial data is compromised and monkeypox is such an emergency we should grant it approval anyway. You can read the trial data in 2097.
We know how this works.
Tests to create the “problem”, vaccines to “solve” the “problem”. Both of them result in vast amounts of public money disappearing into bottomless private pockets.
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There’s a lot of fog around monkeypox – we don’t know, in a lot of ways, where it’s going or what it’s even for. The narrative is only half-formed. First growing, then shrinking, then growing again.
It had a name change that never really materialised, and the decision to focus it on sexual transmission – especially among “men who have sex with men” (I don’t know why they ALL use that phrase and not “gay men”) – is one I just can’t puzzle out yet.
But while it’s yet to take definitively pick a size, direction or speed, it’s taking a very familiar shape: Tests and vaccines.
It’s always tests and vaccines.
Article by Kit Knightly cross-posted from Off-Guardian.
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