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Biden admin plans to declare monkeypox a public health emergency Thursday

Argentina Records First Mpox Death
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The Biden administration may soon announce that the monkeypox outbreak is a public health emergency, The Washington Post reported.

The declaration could arrive on Thursday to promote awareness and get more funding to fight the spread of the virus.

The Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is going to discuss the plan at a briefing at noon, reports Washington Post citing two officials.

The health secretary is arranging a second announcement to authorize federal officials to facilitate potential vaccines and treatments without going through federal reviews.

It would result in improved flexibility in the existing supply of administered vaccines, according to officials.

Why is the Biden administration declaring monkeypox a public health emergency?

The administration’s decision is in line with other health officials in California, New York, Illinois, and other international health leaders.

Federal leaders have been discussing for weeks whether to issue a health emergency. Thursday’s declaration is part of a bigger move to prevent the spread of the virus.

Over 6,600 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported since May 18. The majority of affected people were men who had sex with men. Five of the cases involved children, who possibly got infected via household transmission.

A ‘discriminatory’ disease name

Some scientists have called the monkeypox disease a “discriminatory and stigmatizing” term, reported NPR.

According to the critics, the name “monkeypox” contributes to racist stereotypes about Black and LGBTQ identities. They associated the controversial label with suggesting that monkeys were the main source of the disease.

Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, a global health equity advocate and senior New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute explained that there is a history of associating Black people with monkeys. He also said that ‘monkeypox’ gives an inaccurate impression that the virus is solely transmitted by monkeys.

WHO’s stance

The World Health Organization declared that the monkeypox virus was public health emergency on July 23. The WHO also issued a health warning of international concern.

WHO made the declaration after outbreaks were confirmed in 70 countries where the virus did not previously spread.

Monkeypox, once a rare disease, inhabited parts of the west and central Africa for many years. However, it caused a huge outbreak in other parts of the world in May. Health authorities detected several cases of epidemics in North America and Europe.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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