Jonathan Van Ness Calls Out Government’s Reaction To Monkeypox As Homophobic!
Jonathan Van Ness is not taking the government’s response to the monkeypox outbreak lightly!
In an essay published in TIME on Monday, the hairdresser and Queer Eye star reflected on the United States’ “botched” and “homophobic” response to the 2022 outbreak, stating:
“Watching the government’s botched response to monkeypox has been surreal, and in many ways, I believe it’s been fueled by homophobia and transphobia. When an outbreak affects mainly men who have sex with men, some portion of our elected legislators will have no incentive to act.”
The 35-year-old continued, calling the whole situation “messed up”:
“He thinks it will not touch their constituents, which is obviously messed up because people’s lives are at stake, and there are queer people in all 50 states.”
Van Ness recalled the moment monkeypox “really hit home” for him. He was exposed and had to cancel a planned trip to New Orleans where they’re currently filming Queer Eye:
“I started calling all the political contacts I have, ringing alarm bells about how quickly cases were rising, and pleading with officials to take the virus more seriously.”
He also expressed his disappointment in “political leaders” such as President Joe Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for waiting until the situation “ballooned out of control” before “taking it seriously”:
“Once again, we’re seeing too little action taken until the situation has ballooned out of control. If nothing changes, we’ll continue to experience failures like this response, which has been plagued with too few tests, lack of access to treatments, inadequate vaccine supply, and ambiguous guidance.”
He did give the US credit on declaring the virus a public health emergency — but says it was “a day late and a dollar short��…
Related: California Man Shares ‘Excruciating’ Monkeypox Experience!
Jonathan questioned legislators about their little-to-no incentive approach to monkeypox. He also compared it to the AIDS epidemic — and we all remember how horrifying that was! He says in his essay the new outbreak is being “brushed off” as something only affecting LGBT people and pointed out the differences in the government’s COVID-19 response:
“It’s been so funny watching straight people be shocked with the government response during COVID-19, because we’re like, ‘Honey, this is Tuesday. You thought the government was going to come help you?’ We’re used to this sort of inaction. Monkeypox is like: same day, different virus.’”
JVN went on to call the monkeypox outbreak “a tragedy” and reminded everyone they should care about it “even if it doesn’t affect” them — because “we should care about each other”:
“I think that tragedy, hope, despair, and resilience all can live next door to each other. But we need to act … Everyone should care about monkeypox … because we should care about each other.”
He concluded by saying people have “become bold” about what they’re “willing to witness” and no one should’ve witnessed this outbreak spreading “for the last two months” without acting:
“This isn’t just a monkeypox story. This is a story of how we consistently fail people on the margins. We have to become bold about what we’re willing to witness—and no one should have been willing to witness this outbreak spread for the last two months.”
Certainly a lot to take in! What do U think, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments (below).
[Image via Instagram/Jonathan Van Ness]