HHS renews public health emergency for monkeypox

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday renewed the national public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak, with officials stating that the virus is still very present in the U.S. even as cases continue to drop.


Still not over: Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra cited the “continued consequences of an outbreak of monkeypox cases across multiple states” as well as a “consultation with public health officials” for his decision to renew the public health emergency.

LGBTQ public health experts who spoke with The Hill shortly before Becerra’s decision was announced voiced their support for a renewal of the public health emergency.

  • “One of the biggest things that we are continuing to hear about is really the disproportionate access to vaccine distribution, which especially impacts our Black, Latinx and people living with HIV communities,” Vanessa Castro, associate director of HIV and health equity for the Human Rights Campaign, said.
  • An HHS spokesperson told The Hill that the decision to renew was prompted by the need to maintain the flow of data from states and jurisdictions as well as to allow vaccine effectiveness studies to take place.

The public health emergency for monkeypox was first signed on Aug. 4. Public health emergencies from HHS end after 90 days unless they are renewed.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September expressed “moderate confidence” that monkeypox cases would plateau or continue to decline going forward, though the agency said it was unlikely that monkeypox would be entirely eliminated in the U.S.