February 7, 2023

Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the United States could still “catch up” in its efforts to contain the growing outbreak of monkeypox, but warned officials that testing needed to ramp up significantly if the country was to hope to keep the virus in check. from becoming an endemic threat.

Gottlieb made his remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday as cases of the disease continued to spread across the country. The Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday, and there are now more than 7,500 confirmed cases of monkeypox In the United States, more than any country.

“I think there is a possibility to bring that back into the penalty area, but it would be very difficult at this point,” Gottlieb said on Sunday. We continue to look for cases in the MSM community. It spreads primarily in this community. But there is no doubt that it has spread outside this community at this point. And I think we need to start looking for cases on a larger scale.”

Gottlieb went on to say that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reluctant to expand testing recommendations to include patients with other illnesses such as atypical cases of shingles or herpes. He said the agency is testing about 8,000 people per week for monkeypox out of a potential capacity of 80,000 tests in that time period.

So far, cases have been almost exclusively among gay and bisexual men, but officials have urged the public that anyone is at risk. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the United States should work to remove any stigma around the disease, but there is concern among the LGBTQ community that President Joe Biden’s administration has moved too slowly to contain the spread of monkeypox.

Vaccines Still Hard to Get, The New York Times mentioned Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services was slow to order supplies of vaccinations during the early days of the outbreak. This stumble means that the United States won’t see the millions of required doses delivered until sometime in 2023.

The only drug that can also be used to treat monkeypox is Tpoxx It’s very hard to get Because of bureaucratic red tape.

Last week, Public Health Minister Xavier Becerra said that the public health emergency would allow the government to better mobilize resources, noting that Biden had hired two people to coordinate the White House’s efforts against monkeypox.

Gottlieb had previously said the United States may have failed to contain monkeypox after it faltered during its initial efforts to tackle the virus when the country’s first case was reported in May. He said Sunday that while there is still a small chance that a member of the public will be affected by the disease, officials should continue to test as many people as possible.

“I think the likely incidence of this infection in the broader community is still very low,” he said. But if we want to contain this, if we want to prevent this from becoming an endemic virus, we need to look for it on a larger scale. The worst case scenario is that we start testing on a larger scale and we don’t find it. That would be reassuring. But we must do it.”

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