D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the District’s monkeypox outbreak after more than 120 cases have been reported. This makes D.C. the city with the highest rate of monkeypox per capita in the United States.
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser is calling for 100,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine to respond to the spreading virus, which now has more than 1,800 cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Appearing on CBS News “Face the Nation,” Bowser said that the city already has in place a “robust testing regime,” but only has 8,000 vaccine doses on hand. As of this past weekend, the CDC reports 108 confirmed cases in the city. The first confirmation of a case of monkeypox in the District was in early June.
“We already have a very robust testing regime, and we’ve modeled it on what we were able to do with COVID,” Bowser told host Margaret Brennan. “And we’re going to continue to test, and I think because of that robust testing, we’re going to see more cases, but we want people to pay attention on to ways to protecting themselves, especially by getting vaccinated when the vaccine is available.”
It took a single day for Washington, D.C. to run out of monkeypox vaccine when they were first released to at-risk populations in late June, according to The Hill.
Bowser also said that increased testing in D.C. will likely mean an increase in reported cases.
According to former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who also joined the Sunday morning show, said the nation faces another pandemic with monkeypox and has likely missed the chance to contain the virus. Gottlieb suggested that current case counts are probably “just a fraction” of the actual total.
The White House has said it will distribute around 300,000 monkeypox vaccines nationwide in the coming weeks, and a combined 1.6 million in the coming months. According to Reuters, some 11,500 global cases have been confirmed.