This is not a direct COVID-19 callout, but I wanted to acknowledge that many of the public health failures we saw early in the COVID-19 crisis are now being repeated with monkeypox—which the WHO just declared a global health emergency.
One major issue is a shortage of tests, leading public health experts to suggest that the true number of cases is much higher than what’s been reported. Also, while vaccines are available for monkeypox, the rollout has been inaccessible and inequitable, with very limited appointments in hotspots like NYC. ACT UP actually held a protest in the city last week to criticize local and federal officials for these issues.
According to BuzzFeed News coverage of the ACT UP protest, their demands included: “an ‘emergency safety net fund’ for those testing positive, increased access to vaccines, language-inclusive educational resources, and adequate staffing for both vaccination sites and quarantine locations.” All of which sounds familiar!