(Bloomberg) — The Biden administration is considering whether to declare the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency as cases in the US soared to more than 2,800 on Friday, a White House official said.
“Certainly it’s a conversation that’s ongoing,” Ashish Jha, the White House Covid response coordinator told reporters. “We’re looking at that, looking at what are the ways in which the response could be enhanced by declaring a public health emergency.”
Jha added that any declaration would come from the Department of Health and Human Services.
His remarks came as the World Health Organization has been debating whether to take similar action, expected as soon as Saturday, after the number of infections reported globally surpassed 16,000. Around the world, monkeypox is still primarily affecting men who have sex with men and those who identify as gay or bisexual.