California and Illinois declared health concerns in their states related to the monkeypox virus on Monday.
The governors’ proclamation will accelerate vaccine administration, contact tracing work and prevention efforts, officials said.
The White House strengthened its stance against the virus Monday night by confirming that Bob Fenton and Demetre Daskalakis will be announced Tuesday as national monkeypox coordinator and deputy, respectively.
Fenton helped lead the country’s massive vaccination efforts 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 chief medical adviser, said the pair are “a really good combination” to tackle an illness that still harbors some mysteries, including whether the virus can spread. if a carrier has no symptoms.
The day’s actions follow last week’s emergency declarations in New York State, New York City and San Francisco.
The office of California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement Monday that his move would trigger a “government-wide response” that will help fund vaccination efforts and research.
“We will continue to work with the federal government to obtain more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risks and assist the LGBTQ community in the fight against stigma,” he said.
The proclamation will allow emergency medical services to administer monkeypox vaccines, the governor’s office said.
The state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic will guide the launch of vaccine clinics in targeted communities, according to Newsom’s statement.
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, the author of several laws related to LGBTQ+ issues, welcomed the statement on monkey pox. “We have to use every tool we have to control it,” he said in a statement.
In Illinois, Pritzker said in a statement that his statement will also give the Department of Health full state power to distribute vaccines and inform the public about the virus.
The disease “requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent its spread,” he said in the statement.
The Illinois statement gives the state the opportunity to procure vaccines urgently, the governor’s office said.
The governor’s move “will open efficient lines of communication and cooperation across state lines, an essential step in detecting monkeypox and improving tools and processes to prevent and deal with it,” said Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health in the governor’s statement.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the statement was much needed.
“This emergency statement brings a necessary, heightened focus to the Monkeypox (MPV) outbreak that we are seeing here in Chicago, in our state and across the country,” she said in a statement.
The states with the most cases of monkeypox are New York (1,390), California (827) and Illinois (520), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The vast majority of cases worldwide were among men who have sex with men, according to the World Health Organization. However, anyone can get it through daily contact with others, and even animals, experts say.
Common symptoms include a rash with lesions, malaise, fever and swollen lymph nodes, health officials say. Chills, headaches, and muscle aches have also been reported for the illness, which usually lasts two to four weeks, according to the CDC.
Lindsey Pipia and Associated Press contributed.