White House Addresses Rising Monkeypox Cases in the U.S.

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Currents News Staff

Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is laying bare the urgency of confronting the growing threat of monkeypox.

Two sources familiar with internal discussions say the white house is working on naming a monkeypox coordinator amid rising case numbers.

“We should absolutely be concerned,” Becerra said. “100 percent concerned.”

Becerra’s words come after the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak a public health emergency of international concern over the weekend. The U.S. hasn’t yet declared it a public health emergency.

“We’re seeing a very unusual event,” said Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson. “We have known about monkeypox since the 1970’s. But we haven’t seen this level of transmission around the world.”

About two months after the first monkeypox infection in the U.S. was confirmed, the nation’s total cases have risen to about 2,900 and two of those infections were in children. The White House says the total number of cases is likely to go up.

“Would not be surprised if we see an increase in cases as testing becomes more robust,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.

The Federal government has shipped 300,000 monkeypox vaccines to states and territories as of Friday. The White House says the FDA is working to finalize approval for roughly 800,000 more doses.