California and Illinois declared public health emergencies in their states over the monkeypox virus on Monday.
The governors’ proclamation will expedite the administration of vaccines, contact tracing work and prevention efforts, officials said.
On Monday night, the White House bolstered its stance against the virus by confirming that Bob Fenton and Demetre Daskalakis will be announced Tuesday as national monkeypox coordinator and deputy, respectively.
Fenton helped lead the nation’s mass vaccination effort for Covid-19 as acting administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Daskalakis is director of the HIV prevention division of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top medical adviser, said the pair represent “a very good combination” to fight a disease that still holds some mysteries, including whether the virus can spread when a carrier does not present. no symptoms.
The day’s movements follow declarations of emergency last week in New York State, New York City and San Francisco.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a statement Monday that his decision would bring “a whole-of-government response” to the fight that will help fund vaccine awareness and research.
“We will continue to work with the federal government to get more vaccines, raise awareness about harm reduction, and support the LGBTQ community in the fight against stigma,” he said.
The proclamation will allow emergency medical service workers to administer monkeypox vaccines, the governor’s office said.
The state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic will serve as a guide for launching vaccination clinics in targeted communities, according to Newsom’s statement.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, author of several laws regarding LGBTQ+ issues, welcomed the statement on monkeypox. “We must use all the tools at our disposal to control it,” he said in a statement.
In Illinois, Pritzker said in a statement that his statement would also give the Department of Public Health full state authority to distribute vaccines and educate the public about the virus.
The disease “requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent further spread,” he said in the statement.
Illinois’ declaration gives the state the ability to urgently procure vaccines, the governor’s office said.
The governor’s decision “will open effective lines of communication and cooperation between states, a critical step in tracking monkeypox and improving tools and processes to prevent and treat it,” the Department of Health director said. Illinois Public Health, Sameer Vohra, in the governor’s statement.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the statement was needed.
“This emergency declaration brings increased and needed attention to the Monkeypox (MPV) outbreak we are seeing here in Chicago, in our state and across the country,” she said in a statement.
The states with the most monkeypox cases are New York (1,390), California (827) and Illinois (520), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the World Health Organization, the vast majority of cases worldwide involve men who have sex with men. However, anyone can get it through daily contact with others, and even with animals, experts say.
Common symptoms include a rash with sores, malaise, fever and swollen lymph nodes, according to health officials. Chills, headaches and muscle aches have also been reported for the illness, which typically lasts two to four weeks, according to the CDC.
Lindsey Pipia and Associated press contributed.