New York Gov. Hochul declares ‘state of emergency’ over monkeypox virus outbreak

Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order declaring a disaster in the state of New York on Friday as more individuals are reportedly testing positive for the monkeypox virus, with the largest outbreak occurring within LGBTQ communities.

The Executive Order will allow the state to respond more swiftly to the outbreak and will provide health care professionals with additional tools to increase vaccination rates among New Yorkers, according to Gov. Hochul’s Office.

“After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a State Disaster Emergency to strengthen our aggressive ongoing efforts to confront this outbreak,” Gov. Hochul said.

“More than one in four monkeypox cases in this country are in New York State, and we need to utilize every tool in our arsenal as we respond. It’s especially important to recognize the ways in which this outbreak is currently having a disproportionate impact on certain at-risk groups. That’s why my team and I are working around the clock to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacity and responsibly educate the public on how to stay safe during this outbreak,” Governor Hochul added.

The Executive Order grants EMS personnel, pharmacists, and midwives the authority to administer monkeypox vaccines, and physicians and certified nurse practitioners will be allowed to place orders for the monkeypox vaccine, according to the document.

Providers will be required to send vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health.

While monkeypox cases rise across the nation, Democratic officials and healthcare professionals that belong to the World Health Organization (WHO) rush to find a new name for the monkeypox virus.

They say that the current name invites “racism,” and Ashwin Vasan, the 44th Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, wrote a letter to the World Health Organization demanding that the monkeypox virus be immediately renamed.

The state of New York officially joins the city of San Francisco in declaring a state of emergency over the monkeypox virus.

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