New York, San Francisco: Monkey pox threatens public health

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Health officials in New York and California are sounding the alarm over the spread of the monkeypox virus, declaring threats to public health.

In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed said the city will declare a local public health emergency effective August 1.

“This virus affects everyone, but our LGBTQ community is seeing significant cases and we need action, we need more vaccines,” she tweeted.

In a blog post, the mayor also said the city’s Latino community accounts for 30% of his cases “even though Latinos make up only 15% of [its] population.”

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“The most critical need right now is for more vaccines. The federal government distributes the vaccines to state health departments, and then the California Department of Public Health allocates them to counties, like San Francisco. We don’t have no control over the amount of vaccines we receive,” she says. “San Francisco needs more support, and we need more action. That’s why we’re declaring a local emergency.”

The emergency ordinance takes effect on Monday and must be approved by the supervisory board within a week.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a briefing outside San Francisco City Hall on December 1, 2021.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a briefing outside San Francisco City Hall on December 1, 2021.
(AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

According to NBC Bay Area, San Francisco now has more than 280 confirmed cases.

Health officials predict that number will increase in the coming weeks.

The move comes as the Biden administration plans to declare a public health emergency over monkeypox in the coming days.

There are now more than 4,900 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

California accounts for nearly 800 of those cases, but New York tops 1,200.

The Monkeypox vaccine is shown at the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Salt Lake City.

The Monkeypox vaccine is shown at the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Salt Lake City.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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On Thursday, the Empire State’s health commissioner said monkeypox was an “imminent threat to public health”.

“Based on the continued spread of this virus, which has increased rapidly and primarily affected communities who identify as men who have sex with men, and the need for local jurisdictions to administer vaccines, j I have declared monkeypox an imminent threat to public health throughout New York State,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a statement. “This statement means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will be able to access additional state reimbursement, once other federal and state funding sources are maximized, to protect all New -Yorkers and ultimately limit the spread of monkeypox in our communities.”

On Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine had been secured for the state, which would be delivered over the next four to six weeks.

Governor Kathy Hochul holds a media availability press conference and makes an abortion rights announcement at the office at 633 3rd Avenue.

Governor Kathy Hochul holds a media availability press conference and makes an abortion rights announcement at the office at 633 3rd Avenue.
(Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“With more than a quarter of all cases in the United States, New Yorkers, and especially our LGBTQ+ community, remain among the hardest hit,” the governor added. “We will continue to advocate with the federal government for our fair share of vaccines based on the burden of disease affecting New York City.”

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that an additional 786,000 doses of the vaccine would be rolled out across the country.

“Our goal is to stay ahead of this virus and end this outbreak. We have a strategy to deploy these additional vaccine doses in a way that protects those at risk and limits the spread of the virus, while also working with states to ensure equitable distribution,” he said. “These vaccines are the result of years of federal investment and planning.”

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During a call, Becerra told reporters the same day that the Biden administration believes it has “done everything we can at the federal level to work with…state and local partners and affected communities to make sure we can stay one step ahead and end this outbreak.”

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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