On Monday, both California and Illinois declared health emergencies regarding the monkeypox virus.
The governors’ proclamation will speed up the administration of vaccines, as well as the work of contact tracing and prevention efforts, officials reported.
The White House supported its stance against the virus by confirming Bob Fenton and Demetre Daskalakis will be announced Tuesday as the official national monkeypox coordinator and as deputy, respectively, NBC News reported.
Fenton assisted the country’s mass COVID-19 vaccination efforts as the Federal Emergency Management Agency acting administrator, and Daskalakis is the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV prevention division.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the White House’s top medical adviser, supported the appointments, saying the pair represents “a really good combination” to tackle the illness and its mysteries, including whether the virus can spread when a carrier has no symptoms.
Last week, New York State, New York City, and San Francisco declared health emergencies regarding the virus.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office released a statement Monday, saying the governor’s move would bring to the fight “a whole-of-government response” that will also help fund vaccination outreach and research.
“We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community-fighting stigmatization,” he said.
The proclamation will also authorize emergency medical services workers to administer monkeypox vaccines, the governor’s office added.
The state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic will be used as a guide to launch vaccine clinics in the communities that are targeted the most, according to Newsom’s statement.
In Illinois, Pritzker said in a statement that his declaration would also give the Department of Public Health the full power to distribute vaccines and to inform the public about the virus in the state.
The illness “requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread,” he continued in the statement.
The declaration gives the state the power to procure vaccines on an urgent basis, the governor’s office added.
The governor’s decision “will open efficient lines of communication and cooperation across state lines, an essential step in tracking monkeypox and improving tools and processes to prevent and address it,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Sameer Vohra said in the governor’s statement.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot supported the declaration, saying it was much needed.
“This emergency declaration brings a necessary, increased focus to the Monkeypox (MPV) outbreak we’re seeing here in Chicago, across our state, and around the country,” she said in a statement.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention New York (1,390), California (827), and Illinois (520) are the states with the most cases. Of monkeypox.