Appearing on “MSNBC Reports” on Monday, Dr. Amesh Adalja argued that the monkeypox response “should have been easy,” but the government has failed and “we’ve seen a response that’s basically been haywire.”
Responding to the government’s poor response to the emerging monkeypox epidemic, Adalja — a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — noted that the world has known about the monkeypox virus since the 1950s, and vaccines, tests and antivirals have been available for years now. He also asserted that the virus isn’t very contagious.
For all of these reasons, the government should have been more prepared, according to the doctor, and the fact that their response was so poor “really calls into question the ability of the government to respond to an infectious disease emergency the way we need them to.”
“The CDC needs to be a leader on public health and drive the discussion..rather than be reactive in crisis moments when they’re the ones that we’d ideally love to lead the way” https://t.co/sW7YtYzfS9
— Amesh Adalja (@AmeshAA) August 18, 2022
Host Katy Tur began the segment by asking Adalja whether the government’s approach has gone well.
“Dr. Adalja, the way that this has been approached, the virus itself, the getting of the vaccine, the way that this administration, the way that state governments have treated it, has it gone well?” she asked.
“No. It’s the opposite of well,” the doctor responded. “And I think it’s very concerning because this is happening on the heels of COVID-19, when we saw continued government failures at multiple levels exacerbate the virus.”
“And monkeypox is something that should have been easy,” Adalja added. “It should have been a slam dunk. This is a virus we’ve known since the 1950s, for which we had off-the-shelf vaccines, tests, antivirals. It’s not very contagious. But, yet, we’ve seen a response that’s basically been haywire. And I think it’s very concerning and I think this really calls into question the ability of the government to respond to an infectious disease emergency the way we need them to.”