Schiff: ‘I want to light a fire under the administration’ on monkeypox

·2 min read

Rep Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that he wants to see the Biden administration ramp up its response to the spread of the monkeypox virus.

“I don’t know why there aren’t more vaccines available. I’m hearing from health care providers in my district that there are people lining up to get vaccinated and they don’t have the vaccines for them, and that is a real problem,” Schiff told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

“As I think you indicated, we really don’t know the future course of this virus. But what we do now, early on, just as was the case with the pandemic, will determine just how bad this may get,” he added.

“And so, I want to light a fire under the administration and get them to make sure that we up production, that we up distribution and that people that are ready and willing and able to get vaccinated have the ability to protect themselves.”

Schiff wrote to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week, urging officials to increase the manufacturing and distribution of monkeypox vaccine, noting that the virus is greatly affecting the LGBTQ community.

Schiff’s home state of California is among 44 states that have reported virus cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

A coalition of LGBT organizations called on the Biden administration this week to expand testing and vaccine access for the virus, warning that if no action is taken, California could become the epicenter for the disease.

The Biden administration announced earlier this month plans to distribute up to 144,000 more doses of the monkeypox vaccine in the coming weeks and nearly 2 million more doses before the end of the year.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said during a “Face The Nation” appearance on Sunday that the HHS could consider declaring monkeypox as a public health emergency.

“In the U.S. right now, we’re looking at public health emergency as something that HHS might deliver but I mean, might invoke but, you know, it really depends on what does that allow us to do,” Jha told Brennan in his interview.

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