The growing number of monkeypox cases has prompted the mayor of San Francisco to announce a state of emergency on Thursday, stressing the desperate need for vaccines to support the people of San Francisco.
Announcing another press conference later on Thursday, Mayor London Breed emphasized that despite the city pleading with federal health officials for more help, it has fallen on deaf ears.
Stressing they don’t want to be ignored by the federal government in their need, Mayor Breed allowed officials to cut through red tape to fight the public health crisis reminiscent of the 1980s AIDS epidemic that began devastating the city with LGBT community leaders asking for additional help and support and assistance.
Gay advocates, who have grown increasingly frustrated by the city’s lackluster response to a virus that so far has affected primarily homosexual men, welcomed the declaration, which takes effect Monday.
With thirty percent of all cases of monkeypox in California being in San Francisco, Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco’s health officer, branded the city an epicenter for the country.
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, out of about 800 cases in California and 4,600 nationwide, the city of San Francisco has 281 cases, and the national vaccine shortage has resulted in people waiting for hours in line for scarce doses.
Most of them are often turned away when the shots run out as in the case of San Francisco’s primary monkeypox vaccination clinic, which was shut down earlier this week after it ran out of doses.
The clinic later complained saying it had only received 7,800 of a requested 35,000 doses.
Amid worries that the US has missed the window to contain the virus, federal officials said Thursday that the country’s monkeypox outbreak can still be stopped despite the problems with vaccine supply.
The World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a global emergency over the weekend in more than 70 countries.