Biden names FEMA veteran to lead monkeypox response
The Biden administration on Tuesday named veteran FEMA official Robert Fenton to lead the government's response to the monkeypox outbreak.
Why it matters: The Biden administration has faced mounting pressure to do more to stop the spread of monkeypox, which has prompted three states to declare health emergencies.
Driving the news: Fenton, a FEMA regional administrator, has over 25 years of experience in federal emergency response and will serve as the White House national monkeypox response coordinator.
- Demetre Daskalakis, currently the director of the CDC Division of HIV prevention, will serve as the administration's deputy coordinator.
- The two will "lead the administration’s strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments," per a White House statement.
What they're saying: "Bob Fenton and Dr. Daskalakis are proven, effective leaders that will lead a whole of government effort to implement President Biden’s comprehensive monkeypox response strategy with the urgency that this outbreak warrants," Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a statement.
The big picture: Fenton currently serves as regional administrator for FEMA in the American West, with nearly 50 million people in his area of responsibility.
- Daskalakis is a widely known national expert on health issues affecting the LGBTQ community.
- Fenton and Daskalakis combined have over four decades of experience in Federal emergency response and public health leadership, the White House said.
State of play: California and Illinois on Monday joined New York state and the city of San Francisco in declaring a health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.
- The World Health Organization last month declared the outbreak of the virus a global health emergency.
Go deeper... California, Illinois declare health emergency over monkeypox outbreak