During registration on Monday Watch what’s happening livethe 54-year-old host, spoke directly to his gay male audience about the importance of being vigilant during the outbreak of monkeypox, which has disproportionately affected gay and bisexual men.
“Cases of monkeypox have soared in New York City that Mayor Eric Adams issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency today,” Cohen explained. “After the poor response from our government thus far, I hope this new order will actually help our leaders deal with this threat and put pressure on the federal government to deploy much-needed resources like vaccines, which have been very difficult to obtain.”
Things took a sad turn when the host spoke directly to his gay male audience.
“I want to talk to my gay brothers for a minute,” he began. “We need to take this seriously because this is affecting us at much higher rates than others right now, so be aware, get vaccinated if you can and please – I know it’s summer and we are all suffering from COVID stress – but please be safe Don’t take unnecessary risks. I know it’s summer, but keep it closed.”
He continued, “At the same time, I call on everyone in the government and the media not to stigmatize our society, which is already under attack from many who would rather use us as scapegoats than help us and if you’re not a gay man, you might think that doesn’t affect you now, but this Everyone’s problem is because as we’ve learned from very recent history: Unless we act now, these things can get very much worse very quickly.”
Cohen’s video welcomed a growing number of commentators praising the host for speaking out about the issue to his audience.
Costume designer Isaac Mizrahi wrote “THANK U ANDY,” while actor Russell Tovey added the hands-in-the-air emoji.
One fan wrote, “Thank you Andy, for this clear message and concern,” adding another, “Not many people are talking about this new threat to our health. Thanks Andy. Be safe everyone.” Another comment read, “Wonderful Andy! So we appreciate your use of your platform for this PSA.”
The need for such a message is clear: As of August 1, there were 5,811 confirmed cases of monkeypox across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the vast majority are in men who have sex with men.
While there was criticism from LGBT activists about the lack of planning and distribution of vaccines by the government, monkeypox continued to spread across other cities in America – and not just among gay and bisexual men.
According to ABC News, at least four children in the United States have tested positive for monkeypox.
Meanwhile, California and New York officially declared monkeypox emergency states. According to the New York City Department of Health, approximately 150,000 New Yorkers may “currently be at risk of exposure to monkeypox.”
In California, according to the Associated Press, nearly 800 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the state, according to state public health officials. To date, the state has received more than 61,000 vaccine doses and distributed more than 25,000.
Although monkeypox is rarely fatal, India has reported one death and Spain has reported two, which raises concerns. People usually recover within weeks, although the lesions and blisters caused by the virus are very painful, especially when they occur in the throat or anus.
At this time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is unknown whether it can spread through semen or vaginal fluids. However, it is known that people who do not show symptoms of monkeypox cannot transmit the virus to others.