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March 24, 2023
Cases of monkeypox continue to fall in most parts of the country, however the Biden administration is warning against complacency and have cautioned people that the virus still poses a danger and are pushing for lawmakers to approve a multi-billion-dollar war chest to fight it.
The United States has confirmed over 23,000 infections during the outbreak; however, cases are now starting to decline, according to The Hill.
Cases have dropped about 50 percent in the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from an average of 440 cases a day on August 16th to 170 cases a day nearly one month later on September 14th.
White House officials have touted their own efforts in increasing the case load.
“There’s no question that the work we’ve done to rapidly increase vaccine supply, get people vaccinated, [ramp] up the availability of testing and treatments, and educate individuals on how they can protect themselves is making a tremendous difference. The administration’s strategy is working,” the White House’s monkeypox coordinator Bob Fenton said.
Officials have cautioned citizens against complacency and have said monkeypox remains a threat, especially if the funds are not in place to combat it.
“We should note that we have made strong progress, and we’re encouraged by the cases, the case rate of rise declining,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “And yet we are keeping our — the gas pedal heavily, heavily downward — pedal to the metal — as we continue … the vigilance here.”
The White House has requested $4.5 billion in monkeypox funding in the upcoming government spending bill to increase access to vaccines, testing and to help with the global effort to reduce cases.
Republican lawmakers have said they are against providing any more money for monkeypox and believe the administration should work with what it already has.
“In my view, adding additional funding in that area would make it a very heavy lift for myself and other Republicans,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) told reporters. “There’s ample revenue that’s been provided to the administration to be able to deal with medical emergencies of this nature.”
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) recently said Republicans had “zero” interest in throwing any more money at monkeypox.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC