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Demeter Daskalakis was appointed deputy coordinator of the fight against monkeypox in the White House in August under the direction of Robert Fenton of FEMA. The doctor has recently gained attention for a less-than-expected reason: his pentagram tattoos, which some right-wingers are passing off as proof of a “Satanic” identity. Here’s what you need to know about the decidedly unyielding public health expert:
1. He has serious credentials.
Daskalakis also serves as director CDC Division of HIV Preventionand before that he supervised infectious diseases New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he helped lead the city’s response to Covid.
2. Several right-wing social media posts labeled him a Satanist.
Kind of conservative contributions they drew attention to his pentagram tattoo and fondness for it wearing harnesses that have a similar star shape. Daskalakis says he is not a Satanist. “I wish I was that interesting,” he said he recently told Politico.
3. He grew up in Virginia.
He wanted to become a doctor since he was little. Daskalakis attended a Greek Orthodox church in DC and has a tattoo of Jesus on his stomach (which contradicts the Satanism allegations).
4. He is known for his connection to the communities he wants to serve.
Daskalakis also earned a master’s degree in public health and trained as an HIV doctor. He is openly gay and has been a long-time advocate for LGBTQIA health. He was famous in New York go to sex clubs provide STI testing and education. In his monkeypox work, Daskalakis continued to focus on HIV prevention. In recent paper, describes a syndemic where HIV, STIs, and monkeypox can occur as co-infections in some people. He argues that systems of care should not be isolated.
5. He moved back to DC a few weeks ago.
Daskalakis, along with monkeypox response coordinator Robert Fenton, helped push Biden to declare monkeypox a public health emergency. Going forward, Daskalakis aims to maintain the supply of monkeypox vaccine, distribute vaccines fairly, and encourage people to get vaccinated.
As seen on https://www.washingtonian.com/2022/09/16/5-things-to-know-about-demetre-daskalakis/