The World Health Organization has relented to complaints about “monkeypox,” a term that woke critics say is dehumanizing and stigmatizes LGBTQ people. Amid mounting pressure from the White House, the organization is now moving to rename “monkeypox” to “MPOX.”
According to Politico, who spoke to three sources close to the matter, the decision to rename the virus could come this week and comes following an agreement in the summer to consider suggestions for a new name.
Biden officials have reportedly pressured the organization to change the name, and suggested that the United States would take unilateral action against the WHO if they did not do so.
The WHO is responsible for coordinating international health efforts, such as declaring public emergencies and recommending names and other forms of standardization for the rest of the world to follow suit.
“But the Biden administration for months worried that the virus’ name was deepening stigma — especially among people of color — and that the slow movement toward a new designation was hampering the vaccination campaign it started over the summer, the people with knowledge of the matter said,” Politico reported.
The WHO said on Wednesday that it plans on sharing new details once the name is final and that “a number of individuals and countries” had issues with the term “monkeypox.”
The push to rename the virus has come largely from LGBT activists, including those who work for the Biden administration, to decouple monkeypox from the LGBT community, which has been primarily affected by the disease.