Robert Fenton, a regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been picked to head the government's response to the monkeypox outbreak. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, director of the Division of HIV Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was named as Fenton's deputy.
"Bob Fenton and Dr. Daskalakis are proven, effective leaders that will lead a whole of government effort to implement President Biden's comprehensive monkeypox response strategy with the urgency that this outbreak warrants," Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a statement released by the White House.
As of August 1, there have been over 5,800 confirmed cases of monkeypox, according to the CDC. New York leads the nation with nearly 1,400 cases. California is second with 827 cases, and Illinois is third with 520.
There have been no deaths reported.
All three states have declared an emergency due to the outbreak of the viral disease. Last month, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern. The U.S. has not declared the monkeypox outbreak a national emergency, but Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is considering it.
The White House has distributed a total of 1.1 million monkeypox vaccines across the country and is conducting about 80,000 tests per week.
“It’s very important as we’re trying to really have an aggressive approach to dealing with monkeypox,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, told reporters.