Feds worsen monkeypox outbreak

Much like our underperformance in the scourge that continues to ravage the world, the United States leads in infections for the latest g...

Much like our underperformance in the scourge that continues to ravage the world, the United States leads in infections for the latest global medical alert.

The United States reported 4,639 known cases of monkeypox on Wednesday, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data – surpass The 3,738 Spanish cases for the highest tally in the world. Globally, more than 20,600 cases have been confirmed in 77 countries. Of that, more than 20,300 have been confirmed in countries that have never reported monkeypox infections.

In response to the increase in numbers, our government has issued a familiar appeal to the public.

“The international community must work together to protect those who have been affected by monkeypox, and those most at risk of contracting the virus,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha. said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

“We want to make sure that we – all Americans – understand that we have taken, continue to take this virus seriously,” Jha added. “We will continue to work to increase access to tests, vaccines and treatments, and ensure that Americans understand the risks and challenges this virus faces and what the administration is doing to respond.”

Yet, much like the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s questionable how seriously those tasked with protecting public health are taking the issue, based on choices that have no resulted in unnecessary pain and suffering for vulnerable people. populations.

Last Saturday, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency. Although the Biden administration would weigh a similar statement, one thing is certain: unlike COVID-19 in 2020, there are already a large supply of vaccines available to help contain the virus.

A month ago, when the outbreak first reached New York, there were reportedly nearly 300,000 doses of the US-owned ready-to-use Jynneos vaccine at a facility in Denmark. They could have been shipped to the United States at the time. But, as noted New York Times journalists Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Ottermanthe government was slow to roll out the vaccine, originally developed and stockpiled for use against smallpox, and as a result failed to contain America’s largest outbreak of monkeypox.

“The United States government has intentionally deprioritized the health of gay men amid an out-of-control epidemic due to a potential bioterrorism threat that does not currently exist,” explained James Krellenstein, a Brooklyn-based gay health activist, at the temperature.

So our government saw a real problem and opted for a wait-and-see approach in case a non-existent problem arose.

If all that wasn’t embarrassing enough, bureaucracy is apparently delaying vaccine deliveries: The Food and Drug Administration has yet to inspect and certify a new facility outside Copenhagen where the company now fills the vaccine into vials.

Against the backdrop of the government’s slow response, there is the growing stigmatization of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, who have accounted for the bulk of cases so far.

Already, there is a misconception that the virus is a sexually transmitted infection. Transmission of monkeypox usually occurs through close contact over an extended period of time, which box include sex ― but it can also be spread via clothing, bedding or towels that have been in contact with an infectious patient.

As Dr. Amy Arrington, medical director of the special isolation unit at Texas Children’s Hospital, told ABC News: “You can’t catch this virus by touching an elevator button, casually walking past someone in the mall. It spreads through close contact – contact with lesions, so touching infectious lesions or scabs infectious.

Not enough people understand that we need to venture back to the days when disinfectant wipes were our best friends until we got more shots rather than walking away from men who love other men.

The longer America goes without a public health campaign focused on monkeypox, the more likely misinformation will spread. The more misinformation is allowed to shape the discourse around monkeypox, the more we should worry about the safety of gay and bisexual men. It’s no secret that the LGBTQ community has been vilified by the Republican Party and conservative media.

The last thing the community needs in the midst of a health crisis is an overhaul of 1980s-style stigma combined with the climate of escalating violence of the 2020s.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Tuesday that the administration should work to remove any homophobic stigma associated with contracting monkeypox.

In an interview with NPR”All things ConsideredFauci said the United States must “get rid of anything that even smacks of stigma.”

“Focus on what is reality” Explain Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “You are fighting the virus. You do not stigmatize people infected with the virus. You are reaching out to the community. You’re making it easier for them to access tests, treatments and vaccines, instead of making it a situation where people are afraid to come forward for this stuff.

But as the federal government waits for millions of vaccine doses to arrive in the coming months, there remains a lack of access to antiviral treatment and testing, according to the Washington Post.

“We’re basically rationing health care,” Anthony Fortenberry, chief nursing officer at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, an LGBTQ provider in New York City, told the newspaper. “Those who are most connected and privileged can access these resources.”

I can say from experience that there are not enough Jynneos vaccines to protect all sexually active gay and bisexual men.

And as many read this, I mostly learned about the impact of monkeypox from TikTok Videosthe local press and newly infected people offering testimonials.

For those of us who lived in New York at the start of the pandemic, when many of our days and nights were marked by the sound of ambulances reporting sickness and death, failure to act when residents of the city suffer is incredibly frustrating.

For men who have sex with men who have been the predominant group of people infected with monkeypox, the federal response – lacking tests, vaccines and other treatments – is particularly infuriating given the disparities in long-standing health care issues that plague our community.

But with the infections now found in county jails and in school age childrenI fear that in the fall, monkeypox will affect all Americans―and that once again only the privileged will be able to battle the pain associated with it.

Even though government officials claim to be working feverishly to stop the spread of monkeypox, their inaction so far has given way to a predictable outcome: the virus is moving wildly across the country with no real plan for a response.

Our federal government should be better than this and let us down again.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Feds worsen monkeypox outbreak
Feds worsen monkeypox outbreak
Newsrust - US Top News
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