NACHC has signed on to a letter to Congress led by the National Monkeypox Working Group to support President Biden’s request for $4.5 billion in funding to fight the growing monkeypox (MPV) outbreak epidemic. The request includes a pathway for health centers to receive funding. NACHC is a National Monkeypox Working Group member actively engaging with other stakeholders to respond to the MPV outbreak. Read letter.
The letter was signed by nearly 30 local, state, and national organizations. It raises the alarm about the growing severity of the MPV crisis and the challenges the virus poses “on our chronically underfunded public health system and the unacceptable prevalence of racial/ethnic and environmental inequities.”
The letter describes the need for federal support for healthcare providers and organizations on the frontlines responding to MPV to effectively carry out testing, vaccine administration, treatment, and community outreach, and education.
The letter is the third that NACHC has recently signed on to regarding MPV and actions Congress and the Biden administration can take to respond to the crisis. It comes as the number of cases continues to grow in the U.S., with more than 21,000 confirmed nationally. The current number of MPV cases is likely an undercount and reflects the need for accessible testing and vaccination to the communities that need them.
“The longer we go without funding, the more people are exposed to this painful and dangerous disease and the more strain we put on America’s public health system.”
As of September 12, 2022, the federal government has allocated 1.1 million vials of the JYNNEOS vaccine to states with ongoing distribution. While anyone can be at risk for MPV, the vast majority of cases have been among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Fighting the stigma around MPV is crucial for addressing the outbreak and providing accurate, fact-based information to communities and policymakers. As COVID variants show no sign of abating, the letter underscores the need to sustain the public health infrastructure with predictable and flexible funding. The letter further states, “The longer we go without funding, the more people are exposed to this painful and dangerous disease and the more strain we put on America’s public health system.”
October MPV webinar: MPV will be the focus of a NACHC webinar next month co-hosted with the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will keep you posted on developments.
Monkeypox resources: NACHC has a resource page dedicated to MPV.