The US will declare a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the monkeypox outbreak that has already infected more than 6,600 Americans, two people familiar with the matter said.
The announcement will release federal funding and resources to fight the virus, which can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body. Prior to the announcement, people spoke on condition of anonymity.
The statement comes as the Biden administration has come under criticism over the pace of monkeypox vaccine availability.
Clinics in major cities like New York and San Francisco say they haven’t gotten enough of the two-shot vaccine to meet demand and some have had to stop offering the second dose of the vaccine to delay delivery of the vaccine. guarantee first doses.
The White House said it has made more than 1.1 million doses of vaccine available and helped increase domestic diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week.
The monkeypox virus spreads through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, including hugging, cuddling, and kissing, as well as sharing bedding, towels, and clothing.
People who got sick so far have mainly been men who have sex with men. But health officials emphasize that the virus can infect anyone.
The announcement comes three days after the Biden administration appointed top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as White House coordinators to fight the monkeypox outbreak.
News of the expected statement was first reported by Politico on Thursday.