President Joe Biden said Sunday the spread of monkeypox should concern “everybody,” as it has been detected in the U.S. and Europe.
Biden was stopped in South Korea to answer questions about what his health advisers have told him.
While speaking with the reporters before he boarded Air Force One for Japan, Biden said “They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet, but it is something that everybody should be concerned about”.
“We’re working on it hard to figure out what we do and what vaccine, if any, may be available for it,” he added. “But it is a concern in the sense that if it were to spread, it’s consequential”.
In recent weeks, multiple outbreaks of monkeypox were reported in Africa, then Europe and the U.S.
There are “at least 80 confirmed cases of the disease worldwide and another 50 suspected cases,” reported Fox News.
In the U.S. there are only two reported cases, with one man receiving a diagnosis in Massachusetts, and another in New York City.
Britain, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, and Canada have all reported cases of the disease. France, Germany, and Belgium confirmed new cases this week.
Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said the U.S. is preparing and has a supply of “vaccine that is relevant to treating monkeypox”.
“We have vaccine available to be deployed for that purpose,” Sullivan told reporters as he boarded the flight to Japan.
I’ve been out on the road, giving him updates based on the written inputs we are getting from our health and medical team and, you know, walking through with him what the — what the current state of play looks like and, as we learn about cases both in the United States and elsewhere, making sure that he’s tracking the picture,” he added.
As of this weekend, no monkeypox-related deaths have been reported.