One reason for it, he said, is because many of those affected are gay men.
“You have to believe that if monkeypox were spreading largely through heterosexual sex, things would be drastically different,” he said. “By now, you’d probably be able to get a ‘free vax with purchase’ at every J. Crew in the country.”
Oliver said it’s not homophobic to recognize those most impacted by the outbreaks, such as gay men and sex workers.
“What is homophobic is when you blame or shame the people who are suffering or you decide you don’t need to care about this because you don’t see their lives as valuable or their suffering as consequential,” he sad.
Case in point: far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who recently dismissed monkeypox.
“It’s not a threat to most of the population,” she said in a clip shown by Oliver. “People just have to laugh at it, mock it and reject it… it’s another scam.”
Oliver dismissed that as ridiculous.
“If the way to get rid of something awful was for people to laugh at it and mock it, that woman clearly wouldn’t be in Congress,” he said. “And yet here all we are.”
See more about monkeypox and how to potentially improve the situation in his segment from Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight”: