Harlem United and other community-based organizations have been in continuous contact with the CDC, urging measures to equitably contain the MPV outbreak:
- Increase the proportion of vaccines allocated to NYC so that it is equitable relative to the proportion of all known infections diagnosed in NYC;
- Follow the lead of NY State Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams by partnering with the White House to declare monkeypox a public health emergency so that funding can support the vaccination, public education, and related patient care needed;
- Require the FDA to shift TPOXX from “Experimental” to “Emergency Use Authorization” to prevent needless suffering among all affected, especially low-income communities of color, immigrants, and transgender and gender-nonconforming patients;
- Require commercial testing labs to report to local, state, and federal governments, the total number of tests they are conducting and demographic data of those being tested to aid public health goals; and
- Follow the lead of NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Asan by requesting that the WHO rename MPV in order to reduce the stigma and harm the history of the name can cause to people of color and LGBTQ+ communities.
Image: People wait in line to receive the monkeypox vaccine in NYC. Kena Betancur for AFP via Getty Images