Illinois, California and New York City issued emergency declarations on Monday amid an outbreak of monkeypox.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) was the first to declare a state of emergency Monday afternoon. The Big Apple already has over 1,200 cases of monkeypox, which makes up about 25 percent of cases nationwide.
"This order will bolster our existing efforts to educate, vaccinate, test, and treat as many New Yorkers as possible and ensure a whole-of-government response to this outbreak," Adams said in a statement. "In partnership with federal, state, and local officials, we will continue to respond with the urgency required to keep people safe, and this order is another tool to help us do so."
Adams' order comes just days after New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state disaster emergency over the monkeypox outbreak. According to Fox News, the state health department warned that monkeypox is an "imminent threat to public health."
Later Monday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) declared a public health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.
"We have seen this virus disproportionately impact the LGBTQ+ community in its initial spread," Pritzker said in a statement. "In Illinois, we will ensure our LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe while ensuring members are not stigmatized as they access critical health care."
Shortly after, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) issued a state of emergency declaration of the virus Monday evening. The order aims to "bolster the state's vaccination efforts."
"California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach," Newsom said in a statement. "We'll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization."
As reported by CBS News Bay Area, San Francisco also issued a state of emergency declaration over monkeypox last Thursday, which took effect on Monday. When the order was issued, there were 261 confirmed cases of monkeypox in San Francisco, 799 cases in California and over 4,600 cases in the U.S.
"San Francisco is an epicenter for the country," said San Francisco Public Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip. "Thirty percent of all cases in California are in San Francisco."
"We know that this virus impacts everyone equally – but we also know that those in our LGBTQ community are at greater risk right now," San Francisco Mayor London Breed added. "Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support our most at-risk, while also better preparing for what's to come."
As Christian Headlines previously reported, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared monkeypox a global health emergency on July 23. Monkeypox, typically found in Africa, has spread globally in recent months.
As stated on the WHO's website, the virus is transmitted through close contact and through material that has been contaminated with monkeypox. Symptoms, which can last from two to four weeks, include fever, muscle aches, and a rash on the body.
While most cases have been linked to same-sex intercourse, health officials say anyone can become infected.
Photo courtesy: Luca Bravo/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.