(CNSNews.com) – The White House announced Tuesday that it has assembled a team to lead the response to the Monkeypox virus.
“Today, President Biden named FEMA’s Robert Fenton as the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis as the White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator. Fenton and Daskalakis will lead the Administration’s strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments,” the White House said in a statement.
“We look forward to partnering with Bob Fenton and Demetre Dasklalakis as we work to end the monkeypox outbreak in America,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. “Bob’s experience in federal and regional response coordination, and Demetre’s vast knowledge of our public health systems’ strengths and limits will be instrumental as we work to stay ahead of the virus and advance a whole-of-government response.”
“Bob Fenton and Dr. Daskalakis are proven, effective leaders that will lead a whole of government effort to implement President Biden’s comprehensive monkeypox response strategy with the urgency that this outbreak warrants,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president.
“From Bob’s work at FEMA leading COVID-19 mass vaccination efforts and getting vaccines to underserved communities to Demetre’s extensive experience and leadership on health equity and STD and HIV prevention, this team will allow the Biden Administration to further accelerate and strengthen its monkeypox response,” Fauci added.
The White House said that “since the first case of monkeypox was confirmed in the United States on May 18,” the administration “had a comprehensive and aggressive strategy to combat the virus and protect individuals most at risk.”
That strategy included making over 1.1 million doses of vaccine available to states and cities to control the spread, expanding testing capacity “from 6,000 tests per week to over 80,000 tests per week,” and communicating “regularly with providers and local health departments encouraging them to utilize tests more often.”
In addition, the administration “made treatments more accessible for patients and providers” and “launched a robust outreach strategy to communicate with public health officials, providers, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community to increase awareness about the virus, as well as prevention, response, and treatment strategies.”
“The Administration also recently launched its monkeypox research agenda, aiming to galvanize the international community to identify and address gaps in information on the virus to accelerate and strengthen the global response.”
The monkeypox team will “advance and accelerate the United States’ monkeypox response to mitigate the spread of the virus, protect individuals most at risk of contracting the virus, and care for those who have been afflicted with it,” the White House added.
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