White House COVID Advisor Reviews Current Monkeypox Threat Level

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White House Counsel on COVID-19 Dr. Ashish Jah assured the Americans that monkeypox poses a ‘fairly small’ threat for the general population, even when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares an emergency.

“Not a single American died of monkeypox during this outbreak,” Jah said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t know on a global scale – I think it’s a very small number – but not a single American has died from monkeypox, so the risk to the wider population is pretty low.”

WHO says monkeypox virus is currently a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). CEO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged on Saturday that the transfer rate had not previously met the criteria, but has continued to rise since then.

At present, more than 75 countries and territories have reported more than 16,000 cases, five confirmed deaths.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUL 22: (From left) White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha speak to reporters during a press briefing at the White House on July 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Colombia.  On Thursday morning, the White House Press Office announced that US President Joe Biden had tested positive for COVID-19.  (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUL 22: (From left) White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha speak to reporters during a press briefing at the White House on July 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Colombia. On Thursday morning, the White House Press Office announced that US President Joe Biden had tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Jha said he agreed with the call as many countries do not have the necessary resources to deal with the outbreak while still grappling with challenges related to COVID-19, but stressed that the United States is prepared for the virus and can handle it while maintaining risk. low for Americans.

“I support it,” he said. “I think Dr. Tedros made the right choice. We see monkeypox in many countries around the world, many of them do not get sick – in fact, they are not able to cope with it.

“Here in the United States, we have a little over 2000 cases“, – he continued. – We significantly increased the number of tests, we significantly increased the number of vaccinations.”

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FILE.  This is a 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox that occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox patient who developed a characteristic rash during convalescence.  The World Health Organization is convening its emergency committee on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to consider for the second time in weeks whether the expanding monkeypox outbreak should be declared a global crisis.  (CDC via hotspot, file)

FILE. This is a 1997 image provided by the CDC during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox that occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly Zaire, and depicts the dorsal surfaces of the hands of a monkeypox patient who developed a characteristic rash during convalescence. The World Health Organization is convening its emergency committee on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to consider for the second time in weeks whether the expanding monkeypox outbreak should be declared a global crisis. (CDC via hotspot, file)
(CDC via hotspot, file)

Jha said the US would refrain from declaring a state of emergency over monkeypox, explaining that any such decision would depend on “facts on the ground” and what the declaration would allow officials and health officials to do.

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Jah has also focused in the past few days on President Biden COVID-19 infectionreassuring the public that White House medical staff and advisers were transparent throughout the process, including the disclosure that officials have identified and tracked 17 people who have been in contact with the president and may be infected.

President Biden speaks virtually during a meeting with his economic team to discuss lower gas prices in the Executive Branch's Southern Courtroom on July 22, 2022.

President Biden speaks virtually during a meeting with his economic team to discuss lower gas prices in the Executive Branch’s Southern Courtroom on July 22, 2022.
(Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“None of them gave a positive result,” Jha said. “Obviously they are all continuing to follow CDC protocols for masking and testing, but to date, none of those I know of have tested positive.”

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Jha highlighted the fact that Biden received two vaccine shots and two booster shots, which he said resulted in him facing a “relatively mild” infection.

Julia Musto of Fox News contributed to this report.