Senators Urge CDC and HHS to Address Racial Disparities in Monkeypox Response

August 30, 2022 by Dan McCue
Senators Urge CDC and HHS to Address Racial Disparities in Monkeypox Response
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

WASHINGTON — Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and 11 of his colleagues urged federal health care officials to track and address racial disparities in the nation’s public health response to the monkeypox virus.

In a letter to the heads of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the senators noted that like the COVID-19 pandemic, the monkeypox outbreak is “disproportionately affecting Black and Latino Americans.”

“At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, limited data/reporting on cases, hospitalizations, deaths and tests disaggregated by race or ethnicity made it difficult to assess its implications across communities,” the senators wrote to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

 “Over time, federal, state and local data showed that the majority of COVID-19 cases and fatalities affected people of color, with most illnesses and deaths occurring in regions with higher percentages of Black and Latino populations,” the senators said.

 “Vaccine access must be equitable, even in the face of high demand,” they said. “Any federal targeted response and aid must not inadvertently stigmatize the ongoing public health crisis, but there should be intentional outreach to get resources to impacted communities. The implementation of a rapid and efficient vaccination program is essential to containing and eradicating MPV in communities across the United States. Collecting quality data is crucial to direct our vaccination and testing in the proper directions.”

In addition to Booker the letter was signed by Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Ben Cardin, D-Md., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. 

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

 

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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Cory Booker
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • monkeypox
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