The Biden administration expected to soon declare monkeypox a health emergency – Politico

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is scheduled to hold a press conference on monkeypox Thursday morning.

A White House spokesperson said there were no updates at this time.

Biden officials have debated for days whether monkeypox should be declared a public health emergency, with health officials in the United States and at the World Health Organization this week saying the risk to the general population is low. HHS announced Many public health emergencies In recent years, including Covid-19 and the opioid crisis.

“I think it deserves to be one,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We are facing a lot of challenges across the country with the rate of new cases rising. It is not an emergency that is … a major threat to the general population. But it is still moving … and it has the potential to spread to additional vulnerable communities.”

Talks about the announcement come as the virus continues to spread across the country. In the United States, nearly 3,600 cases have been reported. New York City remains the epicenter of the outbreak, with most cases occurring among men who have sex with men.

The CDC said Tuesday that it makes monkeypox a must nationwide notification requirement, which directs state public health agencies to use a specific definition to identify cases and to follow a specific assessment model when submitting surveillance data to the agency. The move will allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to closely monitor the spread across the country.

However, concerns about the spread of the virus have caused some within the administration to worry about its future transmission due to the lack of available vaccine doses. The Biden administration has also faced growing criticism about the pace of its response from public health experts who fear closing the window for disease containment and elimination.

HHS is expected to announce the release of several hundred thousand additional doses this week after the Food and Drug Administration said it had completed its testing of the vaccine at a manufacturing site in Denmark.

Sarah Ormühl contributed to this report.

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