As the blooms falls off the COVID-19 rose, the Biden administration’s top health official announced Thursday that he will declare monkeypox a public health emergency (PHE).
The United States has over 6,600 confirmed cases across 48 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The U.S. outbreak represents over a quarter of the world’s 26,000 cases, which are currently spread across 87 countries.
“In light of all of these developments and the evolving circumstances on the ground, I want to make an announcement today that I will be declaring a public health emergency,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters during a Thursday briefing. He added, “We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously.”
“This public health emergency will allow us to explore additional strategies to get vaccines and treatments more quickly out to the impacted communities,” explained the administration’s new national monkeypox response coordinator, Robert Fenton. “And it will allow us to get more data from jurisdictions so we can effectively track and attack this outbreak.”
Once declared, a PHE remains in effect for either the duration of the emergency or 90 days, but the HHS secretary can extend it at will. A PHE grants the HHS increased access to federal money as well as greatly enhanced powers to enter into contracts, conduct investigations, waive procedures, and make all sorts of other moves.
The announcement follows the World Health Organization’s July declaration that the outbreak of the monkeypox virus constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Three of the most liberal states in the U.S. — New York, California, and Illinois — have also already made moneypox emergency declarations of their own.
Authoritarian politicians and bureaucrats are having a tough time giving up the dictatorial powers afforded them by the Great COVID Powergrab, so the latest declaration is doubtless music to their ears. But with consequential midterm elections approaching, the roughly half of Americans who believe the 2020 election wasn’t exactly secure aren’t in any mood to hand over their civil liberties once again.
Democrats will be hard pressed to leverage monkeypox into a full-blown power grab. Unlike COVID, monkeypox kills almost no one, and certainly no one in a first-world country. And because monkeypox is spread almost entirely by men having sex with men, Leftists have been reluctant to impose any restrictions on interpersonal contact lest they in any way impede the spread of their beloved LGBTQ+ agenda.
So while monkeypox does not look like it can be spun into the midterm election disrupter feared by the right, it’s already well on its way to becoming yet another government-Big Pharma gravy train.