White House and Senate expand efforts to combat monkeypox
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering whether to declare monkeypox a public health emergency if current management tactics don't get the virus under control, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Jha said that the emergency declaration from the WHO "will allow the United States and its partners to collaborate, share data and get information out to critical communities."
He stressed that the United States has a four stage plan to test and treat the virus in the communities most affected.
The group most affected in the United States is the LGBTQ community and Dr. Jha emphasized the importance to "not use this moment to propagate homophobic or transphobic messaging."
Meanwhile, a group of 22 senators, including Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging the agencies to acknowledge inequities of vaccine access and immediately increase access to the JYNNEOS monkeypox and smallpox vaccine to all communities in the United States.
The CDC has reported just under 3,500 cases in the U.S. up until July 25.
AP wires were used in this report.