Photos of President Joe Biden’s White House deputy coordinator for combatting monkeypox, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, have gone viral after he delivered remarks on the virus.
Daskalakis was named to the position after he had served as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director of HIV prevention. He said that the virus “transmits through very close skin to skin physical contact, often in the setting of sexual exposure, but there are other mechanisms for its transmission, including if you touch objects of individuals who’ve had monkey pox touch or if, if you have prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets.”
Daskalakis then seemed to suggest that there are “men who have sex with men” who are not gay or transgender.
“With that said, signaling to people who are in the gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men communities, and also transgender people who have sex with men, that it’s really important to have awareness, that it’s circulating in the community is really a critical part of the messaging while not generating inordinate concern and really focusing on the infection as linked to an identity,” he said. “So it’s just an infection that’s not linked to an identity. It just happens to be in the social network.”
Journalist Tom Elliott posted the video of the interview, following it up with a thread of photos on Twitter showing Daskalakis wearing raunchy outfits, some of which appeared to be in settings for photo shoots.
Daskalakis isn’t the first Biden official with a less than stellar online presence. Sam Brinton, who dresses in drag, was hired by the Biden administration at the Department of Energy.
Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy, has courted controversy with his open advocacy of sexual fetishism and “puppy play,” a sexual “kink” involving role-playing as animals. Recently, a resurfaced seven-year-old essay he wrote for The Advocate, which was first reported by The National Pulse, showed him defending Rentboy.com, a website that advertised male escort services, but federal prosecutors said it was “designed primarily for advertising illegal prostitution.”
“Rentboy.com may or may not have broken the law,” Brinton wrote. “I don’t know. But I do know, from the frantic emails filling my inbox, that the raid on its headquarters has thrown many gay, bisexual, and transgender young adults into turmoil as their main source of income has been ripped away due to irresponsible and archaic views of sex work.”
The column ran shortly after federal prosecutors charged Rentboy.com CEO Jeffrey Hurant and six Rentboy.com employees with conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution.
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