(JustPatriots.com)- On Monday, the World Health Organization announced that it will officially begin using the term “mpox” instead of monkeypox after the Biden administration pressured the organization to change the name due to supposed “racial connotations.”
On its website, the WHO said both monkeypox and mpox will be used simultaneously for a year before phasing out monkeypox.
In its Monday press release, the international health organization said after the recent monkeypox outbreak, “racist and stigmatizing language” began to emerge online. After public and private meetings, several individuals and countries expressed concern about the racist language and requested the World Health Organization “propose a way forward to change the name.”
In August, the WHO encouraged people to submit proposals for a new name for monkeypox.
The WHO, which is tasked with assigning names to diseases, consulted with experts and government authorities in 45 countries before arriving at the term mpox.
Last week, the WHO announced that it planned to change the name of monkeypox after senior Biden officials urged it to make the change. According to reports, the Biden administration had threatened to adopt a new term without the WHO’s approval, claiming that monkeypox unnecessarily stigmatizes people of color.
After the WHO made the name change official, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement that the administration welcomes the change, adding that everything must be done to “break down barriers to public health.” Becerra claimed that reducing the stigma associated with monkeypox is a “critical step in our work to end mpox.”
Monkeypox was named in 1970 over a decade after the virus was discovered in captive monkeys and 45 years before the World Health Organization published its best practices when naming diseases.
According to the WHO’s best practices, when naming new diseases, it was important to “minimize unnecessary negative impact of names on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare, and avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.”