Biden administration declares public health emergency over monkeypox, report

Republican leaders have been largely skeptical of the severity of monkeypox

Updated: August 4, 2022 - 3:14pm

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The Biden administration on Thursday declared a public health emergency over the spread of monkeypox across the United States.

The Department of Health and Human Services made the declaration in a Thursday briefing, per CNN. The declaration follows similar actions at the state level in California, Illinois and New York.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 6,617 cases of the virus in the U.S., with New York passing the 1,000-case mark in late July.

The disease appears to disproportionately affect gay men.

The New York City Department of Health said: "Current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men."

In Washington, D.C., gay individuals represented 82% of the confirmed cases.

Public health officials have, however, warned that individuals outside of that demographic remain at risk.

“It is extremely important to note that while the majority of the cases during this outbreak are occurring in individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, this is not a disease of the LGBTQ+ community. Anyone can contract monkeypox,” said District of Columbia Department of Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt.

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