WHO’s in Charge?

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster …

It seems as though some medical organizations perform better when the bright light of public awareness isn’t on them.

First up is the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Director Doctor Rochelle Wallensky said the organization she’s been the head of since January, 2021 “did not reliably meet expectations” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The CDC, charged with protecting Americans from disease outbreaks has released plans for reforms.

The organization employees 11,000 people and performs with a $12B annual budget.

Then there’s WHO…the World Health Organization.

This is the organization with a primary role of directing health within the United Nation’s system and to lead partners in global health responses.

Monkeypox has been around since the late 50’s.

While dealing with the recent monkeypox outbreak, the WHO decided what was really important was to re-name the condition.

This was to “avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, nation, region, professions or ethnic groups”.

The decision to re-label monkeypox was to “minimize any negative impact on trade, tourism or animal welfare”.

Some scientists requested a new name for the disease, saying it’s “misleading” since it didn’t start with monkeys.

Therefore, unless it’s “monkey island” at the zoo, I’m assuming “monkeypox” originated somewhere that monkeys were more populous.

Monkeys live on all continents except Australia or Antarctica.

Sixty-five percent of all the world’s primates live i Brazil, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Now, I thought the old labelling process was connected to the origins of the malady.

“German measles” comes to mind.

Ever hear of “Spanish flu”?

“West Nile Virus”.


Officially, medical scientists have labelled the former Congo basin virus “clade one” and the former West African version “clade two”.

But the WHO chose not to appoint a committee to change the name.

Might be the best move they made.

Never forget, “committees are the cul-de-sacs down which creative ideas are lured and then slowly strangled”.,

The WHO decided to open up the process to folks like you and I.

Well, guess what?

The WHO says the public submissions are mostly “ridiculous”.

Might I be so bold as to suggested to the WHO, the entire process you initiated is ridiculous?

Some of the new names submitted include “Mpox” and “Poxy McPoxface.”

And, of course, someone suggested “Trump-22”.

So why not “Biden Bumps”, “McConnell Masses”, “Schumer Chancres”, “Graham Gross-Outs” or “Pelosi Pustules”?

There have been similar things done to come up with new names for bridges, ships and more and you can always count on a something like “Poxy McPox Face” to be submitted.

This entire concept of avoiding offense to any social, nation, region, professional or ethnic groups just fits today’s social media focuis.

Is there someone named “Karen” heading the WHO?

Did “swine flu” destroy the bacon industry?

Did Porky Pig file a lawsuit?

Did Colonel Harlan Sanders survive after all those youngsters came down with “Chicken Pox”?

Roofers and contractors have done well despite outbreaks of “shingles”.

I thought Adolf Hitler was bad enough but did we have to drop “measles” on der Deutschland as well?

A spokesperson for the WHO says a new name “will be chosen for its scientific validity” and will not be “ridiculous”.

What better way to secure a “scientifically valid” name for “monkeypox” than to open up the naming process to a bunch of people, many of whom have the silver scratch-off stuff under their fingernails from lottery tickets they purchased.

Leave this to the scientific types to come up with a non-offensive name that none of us can pronounce.

Might I suggest following the lead of Prince Rogers Nelson when he became “TAFKAP”.

How about “The Virus Formerly Known as Monkeypox. T

My Cleveland Major League Baseball team had to become the “Guardians” although mascots for Atlanta baseball and Kansas City football somehow dodged that bullet.

The Cleveland MLB team was formerly known as “The Indians”.

If the WHO was serious about renaming this virus renaming, they just need to stroll over to Madison Avenue and get an advertising agency in the game.

I’m reminded of a word game we Foster kids played once with our Mother.

The idea was to come up with the name of a restaurant that rhymed with a key word.

For example, a place where miserable, sobbing people ate was the “Whiner Diner”.

The place that coal diggers caught a bite was the “Miner Diner”.

When it became my Mom’s turn, she said, “The Waldorf-Astoria”.

When we quizzed her, she said, “Well everybody would want to feast at the Waldorf”.

By the way WHO, are we closer to finding a cure for monekypox or re-naming it?

Just asking.

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