The Biden administration has declared
the Monkeypox outbreak in the United States a public health
The news comes just days after the
administration appointed Robert Fenton and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis to
oversee the White House's response to the outbreak.
Fenton, who helped lead FEMA's COVID-19
mass vaccination campaign as its acting administrator, said that the
new designation will “allow us to explore additional strategies to
get vaccines and treatments more quickly out in the affected
communities, and it will allow us to get more data from jurisdictions
so we can effectively track the suffering.”
Secretary of Health & Human
Services Xavier Becerra told reporters on Thursday that the United
States had an estimated 6,600 cases of Monkeypox. He added that the
US now has the capacity to process up to 60,000 Monkeypox tests per
Several states, including New York and
California, have already declared the outbreak an emergency.
Monkeypox has hit the LGBTQ community
the hardest. According to The New York Times, over 95 percent
of cases in the United States are among men who have sex with men.
While the virus appears to be spreading mostly through sexual
activity, close contact with an infected person – or touching items
such as clothing or bedding that previously contacted an accompanying
rash – is all that is needed to pass on the virus. The CDC has also
said that the Monkeypox virus can be spread through respiratory
The Times reported that the
government does not have the vaccine doses needed to get the outbreak
under control, writing that the US has “less than a third of the
3.5 million [doses] that health officials now estimate are needed to
fight the outbreak.” The US will receive another half a million
doses in October and 5.5 million next year.