Mike has been, it seems, quietly soft-pedalling his Health Department’s approach to this messy, sad story of a mohel who may have infected babies with a form of herpes, one fatally.
The Jewish Week reports that, after suggestions of banning a particular practice that involved a mohel putting his mouth on the open cut, or of barring this particular mohel from performing circumcisions, the Bloomberg has handed it off to a religious court.
This draws a scathing response from a Baltimore institution which which the Mayor is more than passingly familiar:
“[It] is a major public health hazard,” declared Dr. Jonathan Zenilman, a professor of epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health — the Johns Hopkins University education and research center named for New York’s philanthropist mayor, its biggest financial supporter. Zenilman, who grew up in an Orthodox family in Woodmere, L.I., warned that allowing the practice known as metzitzah b’peh “is actually crazy” due to the potentially fatal danger of transmitting herpes to vulnerable newborns.
“Actually crazy?” One has to wonder what Tom Frieden thinks about this decision, and I’ve left a message asking.