As Cases Rise, Chairwoman Maloney Urges Biden Administration to Immediately Declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency
Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2022)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), urging him to declare a public health emergency in response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.
“As the monkeypox virus continues to spread across the United States, I urge you to immediately declare a public health emergency so that the federal government can use every resource and tool available in its response and rapidly increase availability and access to vaccines, tests, and treatments nationwide,” Chairwoman Maloney wrote. “The federal government must take every step possible to mitigate the threat monkeypox poses to the health of people in the United States before it is too late.”
Last week, Chairwoman Maloney sent Secretary Becerra a letter urging HHS to act swiftly to ensure an adequate supply of monkeypox vaccines, testing, and treatment so that every person seeking these crucial resources can access them.
Following Chairwoman Maloney’s letter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) streamlined the process for health care providers to prescribe TPOXX (tecovirimat)—a crucial treatment for patients with monkeypox. FDA also approved the distribution of 786,000 doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine, with doses becoming available to states and jurisdictions today—including an initial additional allocation of more than 80,000 doses for New York City.
As of yesterday, nearly 5,000 monkeypox cases were reported in the United States—including more than 1,000 cases in New York City alone.
Pursuant to Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, declaring a Public Health Emergency would allow HHS to access crucial emergency funds to empower a more robust response at every level of government. A Public Health Emergency would also grant Secretary Becerra the authority to make emergency appointments so that HHS has the personnel necessary for every aspect of the response and is empowered to take additional crucial actions to expand access to preventive resources and treatment for monkeypox patients across the country.
Click here to read today’s letter.