Sure enough, within hours of reports on Biden’s statements on the outbreak, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out, “How long till the WHO and CDC lock us down again for the coming #Monkeypoxalypse?”
But Jamieson suggested that the portrayal of monkeypox as “Covid 2.0” has spread particularly quickly and gained notable traction within pandemic conspiracy circles because it lines up with many elements of COVID-19 they’ve fixated on over the last two years. It’s a disease that jumped from animals to humans—and then acted weird. Some nations are talking about isolating affected people and vaccinating those at risk of transmissions. Which, to be clear, are tried-and-true containment tactics; America employed them to contain a major monkeypox outbreak that hit the Midwest in 2003. And they don’t come anywhere near the sorts of measures instituted to control COVID-19.
Conspiracy theorists even zeroed in on reports about a simulation, run by the Nuclear Threat Initiative in March 2021 for health and security experts, modeling a strange outbreak of monkeypox spreading across the globe starting in mid-May 2022.
To many truthers, this last link seemed like a direct repetition of Event 201, a simulation of a novel coronavirus outbreak run in late 2019 that conspiracy theorists paint as a smoking gun showing that elites knew about or planned COVID-19 before it broke out.