State of Ohio
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted
Columbus, OH — Gov. Mike DeWine this morning announced that all herpes cases in the Columbus metropolitan area will now be referred to as Husted Herpes, a move Ohio's leader says will help pinpoint geographical incidents of the virus.
"Jon, our esteemed Lt. Governor, is a very well known person who lives and works in Columbus so that's that," DeWine said. "Sure, there are scientific names for distinct strains, and we could easily just use medical terms widely agreed upon and understood, but as Jon pointed out last week, you can also call diseases whatever you want without any repercussions, so here we are."
Husted drew fire recently after tweeting a story citing a former CDC director who asserted without evidence, as the article explicitly stated, that he believes the coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab.
"So it appears it was the Wuhan Virus after all?"
Ohio's second-highest ranking public official said, commenting on the story.
After a year of anti-Asian hate and violence during the pandemic and the recent tragedy in Atlanta, which spawned waves of #StopAsianHate protests around the country and in Ohio over the weekend, some felt that Husted had stoked those racist fires with his tweet.
Not so, said a Husted spokesperson
"It has nothing to do with ethnicity, it has to do with geography. Just as others refer to the Midwest variant, the UK variant, the South African variant, the Brazilian variant, or throughout history, the Spanish flu, German measles, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus are all connected to a location have nothing to do with ones ethnicity," his office said in a statement.
DeWine, taking Husted's lead, believes calling all Columbus-area herpes cases Husted Herpes falls in line with the Lt. Gov.'s leadership on the issue of communicable diseases.
"This is about geography," DeWine reiterated. "In no way whatsoever should it lead anyone to think that Jon Husted himself has herpes, or that he was or is in some way a super-spreader of herpes. The fact is Jon lives in the Columbus area, and this is just about geography."