Wednesday morning, State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) called on San Francisco and California to declare a State of Emergency due to the Monkeypox outbreak.
As of July 26, 2022, the CDC reports there are 3,591 total confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States, and 356 in California. Sen. Wiener says there are 222 monkeypox cases in San Francisco alone. New York has the highest number of cases – 900. Oddly, there are 191 monkeypox cases in Washington D.C, which The Hill reports is the highest case rate by population. “With 110 cases and a population of less than 690,000, monkeypox has been detected in about 0.016 percent of residents.”
“Monkeypox is a public health crisis, and we need to treat it as such,” Wiener said in a statement Wednesday. “In San Francisco alone, we have 222 cases – one of the highest rates in the United States. Given that spread and that Monkeypox is now being detected in our sewage, we know that cases are high and will continue to grow. Monkeypox is painful and isolating, and no one should have to experience it.”
June 22, Sen. Wiener addressed that Monkeypox was primarily being spread in the gay community and said: “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are currently warning Americans – particularly gay and bisexual men – about rising cases of Monkeypox and Meningitis across the country. Both spread through close contact, often skin-to-skin, and can be life-threatening if left untreated, so it’s crucial we stay informed about the risks we face and safety measures we can take.”
July 13 Wiener warned that San Francisco was running out of Monkeypox vaccine. ““Today the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced that the Department is about to run out of monkeypox vaccine. Its San Francisco General Hospital monkeypoxvaccine clinic will be temporarily suspended after today.”
July 14, Wiener said: “Sadly, as monkeypox is spreading throughout the country, San Francisco has the most cases in California (more than Los Angeles County, which has ten times our population) (emphasis Sen. Wiener). “This is yet another public health failure currently harming gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender people. But if this failure continues, it will spread beyond the LGBTQ community. Indeed, if this outbreak is not quickly contained, monkeypox may become endemic in our country. This is a huge and preventable public health problem.
Wiener blames the federal government for the spread: “In 2010, health experts began warning that it was just a matter of time before monkeypox spread beyond West Africa, and in 2019 a safe and highly effective monkeypox-specific vaccine was approved by the FDA. Sadly, however, federal health authorities badly dropped the ball by ordering very few doses — 56,000 doses, translating to a two-dose regimen for 28,000 people — for our national vaccine stockpile. It’s hard to overstate what a disaster it was for the federal government to order so few doses for its stockpile. Had the federal government ordered the millions of doses needed, we would currently be able to quickly vaccinate everyone at risk and contain this outbreak.”
Monday, Slate addressed the disinformation in media and social media about Monkeypox:
“The message that anyone can get monkeypox, widely disseminated by public health officials and the media, is not incorrect, but it is misleading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists direct contact with monkeypox sores, respiratory secretions during face-to-face contact, sex, cuddling, and touching contaminated items as potential transmission routes—but they’re not all equally risky. The raging social media debate about whether monkeypox can be considered a sexually transmitted infection misses the point: Right now, it is primarily spreading during sex and, like most STIs, it can be transmitted other ways as well.”
“While anyone could potentially catch the virus through close physical contact, the ‘vast majority’ of people getting it now are gay and bisexual men, according to CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky,” Slate reported. “In a recent study of more than 500 cases in 16 countries, 98 percent were among men who have sex with men, and sexual contact was identified as the likely transmission route in 95 percent of cases.”
Slate reported that there are around 100 monkeypox cases among women worldwide – a relatively small number of cases outside of gay men, health officials have reported.
In a deja vu of the 1980’s HIV/AIDS crisis, Slate said, “The mixed messaging has left the public understandably confused.”
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