Equality Caucus Urges Biden Administration To Request Monkeypox Funding

Equality Caucus Urges Biden Administration To Request Monkeypox Funding

Jennifer.Bell2…

Tue, 08/23/2022 - 09:31

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Co-Chair Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Co-Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) led 85 of their colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to send a formal request to Congress for supplemental funding to combat the spread of monkeypox. In their letter to the Administration, the Members stressed the need for additional resources to combat the outbreak and support our nation’s public health infrastructure.

“Now is the time to act and address monkeypox as the public health emergency that it is. Although anyone can get monkeypox, LGBTQ+ people, and particularly men who have sex with men, have been disproportionally impacted by the outbreak,” said Equality Caucus Chair Cicilline. “We need the proper resources to support our clinics, hospitals, and health professionals as they address the continued spread of monkeypox. I urge the administration to act swiftly to provide Congress with a funding request so we can appropriate the necessary funds to address the monkeypox outbreak and prioritize the health and safety of the American people.”

“The spread of monkeypox in the United States is straining our over-burdened public health system and disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ+ community. Congress needs a detailed supplemental funding request from the Administration to ensure that we can contain the spread of this disease and help communities that have been affected,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Pocan. “I thank my colleagues in the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus for their leadership on this issue, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and the Administration to secure the funding needed to facilitate a rapid and thorough response.”

“Public health officials in my state have been clear, the federal government must step up the response to monkeypox. Congress stands ready to act and I’m calling on the administration to work with us to support the LGBTQ+ community that has been so disproportionately impacted by this outbreak,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Maloney. “By dedicating additional resources, speeding up vaccine distribution, and expanding testing at no cost to patients, we can stop the spread of this disease.”

A copy of the letter is available here and the body of the letter is as follows:

Dear Secretary Becerra and Dr. Walensky:

We write to respectfully urge you to send a formal request to Congress for supplemental funding to combat the spread of monkeypox. As a new fiscal year approaches, a detailed request for supplemental funding will ensure Congress appropriates sufficient resources to stop the spread of this outbreak and support those who have been impacted.

We applaud your decision to declare monkeypox a public health emergency and believe Congress should provide additional resources to combat the spread of monkeypox. We urge you to promptly provide House and Senate Appropriations Committees with a request for funding detailing the funds needed to address all aspects of the outbreak, including to:

  • Provide financial and technical assistance to support frontline clinicians and state and local public health departments’ efforts to hire and retain staff, provide clinical services, expand and improve clinical infrastructure, collect data, conduct contact tracing, coordinate outreach services, purchase supplies such as PPE, and educate the public; 
  • Purchase, distribute, and administer sufficient quantities of vaccines and treatments;
  • Launch culturally competent public education campaigns—using an equity lens—targeting health care providers, the public, and groups that are disproportionately impacted by the monkeypox virus;
  • Expand testing capacity and reduce testing and treatment costs for the un- and under-insured;
  • Support enhanced data collection and reporting, including the number of monkeypox tests run, percent positivity, and demographic information;
  • Provide wraparound services for individuals forced to isolate for extended periods of time; and
  • Allocate sufficient funding to simultaneously test individuals for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and STIs.

A rapid response and robust funding are essential to containing this outbreak. We look forward to working with your agencies to enact a significant supplemental appropriations package to address this urgent need.

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Congress Number
August 23, 2022
August 25, 2022

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