Biden to Listen to FEMA and CDC for Monkeypox Response

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Joe Biden has already been criticized for how slowly he’s responded to monkeypox. Many say he didn’t get vaccinations rolled out fast enough and now New York and San Francisco are behind. So he’s appointed some help.

NBC News reports:

The White House announced Tuesday that the president has tapped Robert Fenton, who helped lead FEMA’s mass vaccination effort against COVID-19 as the agency’s acting administrator when Mr. Biden first took office, as the White House coordinator. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis of the CDC will be his deputy. Daskalakis, the director of the agency’s HIV prevention division and a national expert on issues affecting the LGBTQ community, previously helped lead New York City’s COVID-19 response, .

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and Mr. Biden’s top science adviser, praised their appointments Monday night and said he hoped they would tighten the coordination among the various federal agencies involved in the monkeypox response.

Scientists say that, unlike campaigns to stop COVID-19, mass vaccinations against monkeypox won’t be necessary. They think targeted use of the available doses, along with other measures, could shut down the expanding epidemics that were recently designated by the World Health Organization as a global health emergency.

The Biden administration has faced criticism over the pace of vaccine availability for monkeypox. California on Monday became the second state in three days to declare a public health emergency over monkeypox, following action this weekend by New York, but the Biden administration didn’t appear to be moving in that direction. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the decision would be up to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

“I personally think we’re dealing with a really serious issue here,” Fauci said. “There are a lot of unknowns. There are a lot of knowns about monkeypox, but there’s still a lot of unknowns. So we’ve really got to implement the interventions we have, get a much better feeling for the natural history and the scope and absolutely reach out into the community, and that’s the reason why I think the combination of Bob and Demetre is really a good combination.”

Now 3 states have declared a state of emergency. Four children have now contracted it in the U.S.

Monkeypox looks bad, but experts say it’s not nearly as bad as covid-19. Plus, it is mainly spreading amongst gay men, although it can be spread in other ways. Are you worried about monkeypox? Does it make you feel better that Biden has appointed people to help him with a response?

Stacey Warner

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