BREAKING: White House plans to declare monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency
- The White House plans to declare monkeypox a public health emergency as early as Thursday
- It comes as America has confirmed 6,617 cases of the tropical virus, including five pediatric cases
The Biden Administration is planning on declaring a public health emergency regarding the nation’s surging monkeypox outbreak, according to reports on Thursday.
The move, reported by the Washington Post, opens additional resources for combatting the outbreak, and will likely help expand access to monkeypox testing and vaccines in the coming weeks. It would also allow for regulators to fast-track approvals of medications designed to fight the virus.
The move comes as the nation reaches 6,617 confirmed cases according to most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Figures have spiraled in recent weeks, with daily figures jumping from the dozens to the hundreds nationwide.
Nearly all of these cases have been detected among men – mainly gay and bisexual men. There are mounting fears that it could already be transmitting into more vulnerable groups like children and pregnant women, who are most at risk from serious disease.
Five cases have been spotted in children and one in a mother-to-be so far, with experts warning there may be others that are not being picked up because of a lack of testing.
No U.S. deaths have been reported as a part of this outbreak, though ten have been confirmed across the world.
Federal officials have been slammed for a delayed response to the virus so far, allowing it to potentially spread unrestricted for weeks before expanding access to testing and rolling out vaccines to the population. At current, the country can perform up to 80,000 monkeypox tests each day.
This is a developing story