Well, it was only a matter of time before someone started blaming the Covid-19 vaccines for the monkeypox outbreak. After all, since early 2021, seemingly every time a new health problem has reached the news, some politicians, TV personalities, and anonymous social media accounts have tried to link the problem back to the Covid-19 vaccines. For example, on May 1, I covered for Forbes how some folks were trying to connect the hepatitis outbreak among children to Covid-19 vaccination, despite the minor detail that many of these children didn’t even receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Alex Jones, he who has hosted various TV and radio shows and peddled supplements and numerous conspiracy theories, tried to connect the Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines to the monkeypox outbreak on a recent episode of his InfoWars show. If you’ve been Jonesing for a clip of this show, Florida lawyer Ron Filipkowski provided one with the following tweet:
As you can see, Jones argument was that the monkey pox outbreak has been affecting the same countries where people have been receiving the Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines. Of course, this ain’t too compelling an argument since the 12 countries that have had monkeypox cases—Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, U.K., and the U.S.— all have places that serve hot dogs as well. And no one seems to be blaming the outbreak on franks.
Jones went on to claim that these two Covid-19 vaccines are “virus vectors that inject the genome of a chimpanzee in to your cells and then orders your cells to replicate under those orders.“ Umm, that would be correct except for the fact that it is completely wrong. As Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, pointed out in the following tweets, Jones seemed to be injecting quite a lot of bleep into his segment:
Hotez emphasized that the J&J vaccine doesn’t even use a chimpanzee adnovirus and instead uses a human adenovirus. Both vaccines use non-replicating adenoviruses, meaning viruses that are not able to reproduce.
They don’t inject the “genome of a chimpanzee in to your cells.” Moreover, Jones seemed to be monkeying around too much. As I described on May 8 for Forbes, despite its name, monkeypox isn’t really strongly connected with monkeys. Hotez explained that even though the virus was first found in NHPs in 1958, which stands for “non-human primates” and not “no hot dogs please,” it mainly circulates among rodents.
Plus, there is a clearly different virus behind the monkeypox outbreak. It is a double-stranded DNA virus that that’s part of the Orthopoxvirus genus and the Poxviridae family. This is not a mystery virus. Scientists have known since the 1970s, which is decades before Justin Timberlake left *NSYNC, that this virus can cause monkeypox.
Moreover, as Forbes contributor Vicky Forster, PhD, indicated, not everyone affected by the monkeypox outbreak even received the Covid-19 vaccine:
Again, if you are going to try to blame the Covid-19 vaccines for an outbreak, at least make sure that everyone affected by the outbreak actually got the Covid-19 vaccine.
Other anonymous social media accounts such as “TruthSeek” tried to suggest that bullous pemphigoid, a very rare potential side effect of the Covid-19 vaccines, is “very like” monkeypox:
Umm, beware of anything that tries to call itself “Truth”-something these days. If you want to seek the truth, at least identify who you are.
Such attempts to link bullous pemphigoid with monkeypox would be full of lesions. The two are not like each other. Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune skin condition that results in large, fluid-filled blisters that tend to develop on crease on your skin on your lower abdomen, upper thighs and armpits. Equating monkeypox with bullous pemphigoid because they both have fluid filled lesions would be like equating it with acne because the both have pus-filled lesions. Otherwise, a lot of teenagers would be diagnosed with monkeypox. The lesions of monkeypox, bullous pemphigoid, and acne are very different in appearance, configuration, timing, and associated symptoms, although all three might impact your prom.
Over the years, Jones has promoted his share of conspiracy theories. As I covered for Forbes back in 2018, these have included claims that the Sandy Hook mass shooting was staged, that vaccines cause autism, and that the government has been using chemicals to turn people and frogs gay (because, why not, right?) In fact, the spread conspiracy theories without providing any real evidence thing has become quite a commonly used trope. And so has the blame everything on Covid-19 vaccines trope over the past year or so. Therefore, it just hasn’t been that surprising to have the monkeypox see, monkeypox do spread Covid-19 vaccine conspiracy theories that is happening right now.