The federal government followed in the footsteps of the World Health Organization in officially declaring the ongoing monkeypox outbreak to be a public health emergency. In addition to qualifying the level of threat perceived due to the virus, the move will make deeper resources aimed at containing the outbreak available at multiple levels throughout the U.S. health system. Federal agencies are now authorized to fund development of and access to vaccines and therapies to fight monkeypox, as well as to hire additional staff. The quick rise in cases in the United States (from the first few confirmed cases occurring in May to over 6,500 currently) and the perceived slow response by the government echoes the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, including scarcity of testing supplies and a slow start to initiate public health educational campaigns.
Monkeypox Is Now a U.S. Public Health Emergency