By James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M. and Lawrence O. Gostin, J.D.
Monkeypox is America’s newest emergency—and not a moment too soon. On August 4, 2022, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox a national public health emergency(PHE). His declaration was proceeded by the global designation via the World Health Organization on July 23, and emergency pronouncements by multiple states (California, Illinois, New York) and cities (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco) the week prior.
Designating monkeypox a national PHE is a turning point in U.S. response efforts following moribund early efforts over the first 100 days of the outbreak. Now, with over 7,500 reported cases across the U.S., and thousands more globally, the case for declaring a PHE is clear.