Following Committee Request, Biden Administration Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 4, 2022)— Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that the Biden Administration will declare the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. The announcement follows a July 29, 2022, letter Chairwoman Maloney sent to Secretary Becerra, urging him to immediately declare a public health emergency given the rapidly rising monkeypox cases.
“I commend Secretary Becerra for heeding my call to declare the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. This critical step will allow the Biden Administration to build on the progress it has already made to expand the availability of vaccines, testing, and treatment nationwide. As Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I will continue to push the Administration to use every tool at its disposal to mitigate the threat monkeypox poses to our nation’s public health and ensure testing, vaccines, and treatment are available to those who need it.”
On July 20, 2022, Chairwoman Maloney sent a letter urging HHS to act swiftly to ensure an adequate supply of monkeypox vaccines, testing, and treatment.
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 now available to states and jurisdictions—including an initial additional allocation of more than 80,000 doses for New York City.
On July 29, 2022, Chairwoman Maloney sent a letter to Secretary Becerra urging him to declare a public health emergency in response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak. The number of reported cases in the United States now exceeds 6,600.