As Monkeypox Spreads, U.S. Declares a Health Emergency

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Thursday declared the growing monkeypox outbreak a national health emergency, a rare designation signaling that the virus now represents a significant risk to Americans and setting in motion new measures aimed at containing the threat.

The declaration by Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s health secretary, marks just the fifth such national emergency since 2001, and comes as the country remains in a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic. The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the outbreak late last month.

Mr. Becerra’s announcement, at an afternoon news briefing where he was joined by a raft of other top health officials, gives federal agencies power to quickly direct money toward developing and evaluating vaccines and drugs, to gain access to emergency funding and to hire additional workers to help manage the outbreak, which began in May.

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