With monkeypox cases steadly declining, Biden administration turns focus to equity: What to know

  • In Business
  • 2022-09-15 17:59:21Z

Federal health officials announced Thursday that monkeypox cases in the U.S. have declined nearly 50% overall since the beginning of August, leading to a shift in the government's virus response to focus on addressing racial disparities in infections and vaccine uptake.

What happened: At a White House briefing Thursday, officials said that they are "cautiously optimistic" about the decrease in cases but shared plans to address equity concerns around efforts to address the virus, which has largely spread among men who have sex with men.

By the numbers: While non-Hispanic Black men represented 38% of new cases in the past week, they make up only 12% of those who've received a first dose of the monkeypox vaccine, according to Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky. Hispanic men make up 25% of cases in the past week and only represent 21% of first vaccine doses.

What's next: Officials say they aren't letting their guard down despite the promising numbers, vowing to keep utilizing a "multi-layered" approach focusing on testing, vaccine availability and health education to keep numbers low and address the needs of those who are most at-risk for the virus.

More on monkeypox:

  • 'Here we go again': Monkeypox crisis unnerves AIDS activists. Have lessons been learned?

  • Latest news: First known monkeypox death in US confirmed by LA County health officials

  • Monkeypox among the homeless community: Why experts are worried and what cities are doing.

The state of monkeypox in the U.S.

The growth of new monkeypox cases has begun to decline both in the United States and abroad, according to health officials. Total global cases of monkeypox have reached 59,600, and there have been nearly 23,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. in every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Walensky said Thursday.

Despite a nationwide decline, some jurisdictions are still seeing an increase in monkeypox cases, according to Walensky, and the government must maintain its vigilance in addressing the virus to keep cases from increasing.

"We approach this news with cautious optimism," Walensky said at the briefing. "We must continue to aggressively respond with our entire toolkit."

Officials said that while there are rare cases among children, they are largely cases that are part of "terminal chains," meaning they do not spread to other individuals or spillover into the larger population.

Earlier this week, health officials in California announced what is believed to be the first known death from monkeypox in the United States from a patient who was severely immunocompromised and had been hospitalized.

Addressing racial disparities

In August, the White House announced an equity intervention pilot program aimed at ensuring vaccines reach high-risk individuals facing barriers to access, allocating 10,000 vials of vaccine toward smaller-scale equity interventions, including LGBTQ events such as Southern Decadence in New Orleans and Atlanta Black Pride.

Demetre Daskalaki, deputy coordinator of the White House National Monkeypox Response team, said 11,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered under the program.

Daskalaskis also announced a second equity intervention pilot at Thursday's briefing, focused on hyperlocal strategies and smaller-scale projects.

Walensky said the federal government will continue to work to assure that health education, vaccinations, testing and treatment are "equally accessible to all populations," particularly those at highest risk for monkeypox.

"Now we really have the hard part of the job to do," Daskalaskis said. "Our work is far from over. Equity must remain a cornerstone of our response."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Monkeypox cases declining in the US, globally: What you should know


More Related News

As same-sex marriage protections pass Congress, House GOP support decreases
As same-sex marriage protections pass Congress, House GOP support decreases

Thirty-nine House Republicans supported a bill providing federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriage, despite 47 GOP lawmakers backing similar ...

Biden approval, views of economy steady, sour: AP-NORC poll
Biden approval, views of economy steady, sour: AP-NORC poll
  • US
  • 2022-12-08 05:15:43Z

Fresh off his party's better-than-anticipated performance in the midterm elections, President Joe Biden is facing consistent but critical assessments of his ...

Challenging Industry, White House Looks To Set
Challenging Industry, White House Looks To Set 'A New Gold Standard' For Green Buildings

The private consortium that writes the nation's codes sided with industry over Biden. A new push to clean up federal buildings may put pressure on builders.

Trump Apologists Have Found Scapegoat For Midterms Fail: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel
Trump Apologists Have Found Scapegoat For Midterms Fail: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel

Some are also blaming Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, but deny Trump had anything to do with it.

Anti-corruption groups, White House back money laundering bill in Congress
Anti-corruption groups, White House back money laundering bill in Congress

U.S. anti-corruption groups are pushing Congress to attach sweeping new money-laundering rules to a year-end bill funding the government that lawmakers aim...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business