STAT August 4, 2022
Helen Branswell

The Biden administration declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Thursday, a move that comes amid growing case counts and a groundswell of criticism over the way the administration has handled the outbreak.

The declaration comes as news stories chronicle a series of missteps in the administration’s response to the outbreak, from its failure to rapidly divert vaccine stockpiled as a hedge against bioterrorism to combat spread of monkeypox to its slow decision-making, which led to missed opportunities to vaccinate more quickly.

“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level on this virus,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in announcing the declaration.

The public health emergency declaration comes nearly two weeks after...

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