News Release

Analysis of White House Decision to Declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency

Analysis of White House Decision to Declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency –– Interviews Available

The White House announcement Thursday declaring the monkeypox outbreak a state of emergency was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, who has come under fire in recent weeks for what activists see as his “lack of urgency” with regard to the virus.

Several states––including those that made up a significant portion of the nation’s cases, such as California, Illinois and New York––had already declared their own states of emergency in recent days

STELLA SAFO, MD, MPH; stella@justequityforhealth.com, @AmmahStarr
    Safo is an HIV primary care physician and the founder of Just Equity for Health.

Safo told the Institute for Public Accuracy today: The state of emergency declaration is “one of the best and most helpful things we’ve heard in the last few weeks. We’ve been watching a slow moving train wreck. The concern is that if you don’t declare a state of emergency for a new infectious disease [in the U.S.], we won’t get the resources and the attention we need to really control it. The resources piece is very important because we’re seeing that we’re having a hard time diagnosing among certain groups. 

    “It’s very good news that the federal government has declared a state of emergency and that other individual states continue to do so. My hope is that it’s going to mark a turn in the response––which has been, if anything, lackluster––toward something more robust.”