Biden steps in it again, walks back concern about monkeypox; says it’s not comparable to Covid-19

President Joe Biden was evidently premature when he said the recent monkeypox outbreak was something “to be concerned about.”

On Monday, Biden clarified that people are justified in their concern over the monkeypox cases in the United States, as well as other parts of the world, but claimed it is not as scary as the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some are confused about his statements as he opened the week with a direct contradiction to the advice he provided to the public just a day ago, on Sunday.

During a visit to Osan Air Base in South Korea, the president told reporters the spread of the disease is something that “everybody should be concerned” about and is checking on the possibility of vaccines. There have been six confirmed cases in the United States thus far, in New York and Massachusetts, most notably.

“Advisers haven’t told me the level of exposure yet… but it is something that everybody should be concerned about. It is a concern in the sense that if it were to spread, it would be consequential,” Biden said Sunday.

(Video: Associated Press)

Then, Monday, during a visit to Tokyo, Biden seemed to walk back his comments from the day before.

“We have had this monkeypox in large numbers in the past. We have vaccines to take care of it,” the president said.

“Thus far there doesn’t seem to be a need for any kind of extra effort beyond what’s going on,” Biden added. “I just don’t think it rises to the level of a kind of concern that existed with COVID-19. And the smallpox vaccine works for it. But I think people should be careful.”

“The monkeypox outbreak, which has also been reported in several European countries, has raised concerns it may be the largest outbreak of the disease the world has seen outside of Africa,” Washington Examiner reported. “However, experts say the disease is less viral than COVID-19 because it can only be transmitted through close contact with the skin lesions of someone who is infected or through contaminated materials.”

An existing, widely used vaccine for smallpox already blocks the illness from spreading from one person to another, efficiently, according to the outlet. However, currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is weighing its options in offering the vaccine to high-risk residents of the United States, like healthcare workers and others of greater need.

Monkeypox is reportedly most commonly found in central and western Africa, and in a few other places where residents are more frequently exposed to bites or scratches from rodents and other small animals. Symptoms often resemble the flu, usually include the development of a severe rash on the face or body, and can last for two to four weeks.


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