Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York raised eyebrows when he invoked the monkeypox outbreak while advocating for President Joe Biden to extend a federal student loan repayment hiatus and to nix student debt.
“With student loan repayments set to resume on August 31st and COVID-19 and Monkeypox cases on the rise, I once again request that @POTUS extends the payment pause and issues an executive order to cancel student debt,” the congressman tweeted on Monday.
Nadler is one of the lawmakers who signed a letter earlier this year urging Biden to nix up to $50,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower.
The idea of forgiving people’s student loan debt remains highly controversial. Many Americans never attended college. Others who have chosen to attend college have already worked diligently to pay off their debts and would not benefit from student debt cancellation.
While many on the left have long been calling for the president to cancel student debt, Nadler’s tweet struck many on social media as odd because it tied the call for student debt cancellation to the issue of monkeypox.
“What on earth does monkeypox have to do with student loans?” tweeted Allie McCandless, communications director for GOP Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina.
“What does monkeypox have to do with student loan repayments?” tweeted National Republican Congressional Committee deputy communications director Mike Berg.
“This is a weird one. Not sure what monkeypox has to do with getting working families to pay for rich kids grad school student loan debt,” tweeted Matt Whitlock.
“If you had ‘Monkeypox as a reason to cancel student loans’ on your non sequitur bingo card, you are a winner!” someone else tweeted.
Monkeypox has predominantly been impacting men who engage in homosexual activity — World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing last week that 98% of cases involved men who engage in sex with men.
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