New York City is the latest liberal enclave to declare monkeypox a public health emergency as the outbreak continues to spread, mostly among gay men.
The city’s Democratic mayor Eric Adams issued the order on Monday, Fox News reported.
While not deadly in most cases, the monkeypox can cause extremely painful lesions.
The outbreak has been spreading mostly through sexual contact between gay men. The virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact.
The biggest hotspots in the U.S. have been liberal metropolises like New York and San Francisco. The roughly 1,200 monkeypox cases in New York account for about a quarter of all infections in the country.
Adams promised, “to educate, vaccinate, test, and treat as many New Yorkers as possible and ensure a whole-of-government response to this outbreak.”
The emergency declaration allows Adams to suspend local laws, Fox reported.
The governors of California and Illinois, Democrats Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker, also declared emergencies on Monday.
Both governors promised to protect gay people from being stigmatized, a contrast from their messaging on COVID, which saw them and other Democrats including President Biden readily describe those refusing the vaccine as a burden on society.
While some Democratic leaders are declaring monkeypox an emergency, there have been no recorded monkeypox deaths in the U.S. and only a handful in Europe.
The World Health Organization has urged gay men to avoid promiscuous behavior to limit their risk of exposure, but public health officials in the U.S. have been more cautious in their messaging.
The New York Health Department issued a statement calling “abstinence-only” guidance for gay men at risk of infection “disgraceful.”