White House declares monkeypox a public health emergency

Source: The Hill | August 4, 2022 | Nathaniel Weixel

The Biden administration on Thursday officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move that’s aimed at freeing up emergency funding and improving distribution of vaccines and treatments.

“We are prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said during a briefing.

The announcement comes amid intense criticism that the Biden administration failed to recognize the severity of the outbreak, leading to shortages of vaccine doses and diagnostic tests even as demand has soared.

Some public health experts fear the U.S. lost its opportunity to contain and even eliminate the virus.

The administration has been under pressure to declare a public health emergency from health advocates and congressional Democrats who represent some of the hardest hit states.



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