San Francisco Community Health Center joined dozens of health organizations across California on Thursday calling on state lawmakers for additional funding and resources to address the growing monkeypox (MPV) outbreak.
A coalition of over 50 California health organizations signed a letter urging Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to boost efforts against the spread of MPV in the state beyond Newsom’s Aug. 1 state of emergency declaration.
“With only two weeks left in the legislative session, we believe further action is urgently needed to stem the tide of the current outbreak and prevent MPV from becoming further entrenched in the LGBTQ+ community and other vulnerable communities across California,” the joint letter states.
The coalition calls for the following:
- $38.5 million in FY 2022–23 to support MPV response activities at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and local public health departments
- Reimbursement for MPV vaccine administration
- Paid leave and financial support for those in need of MPV testing and treatment, vaccination, and recovery
- Publicly available demographic data on vaccine administration and treatment access
In a July article published by The Guardian, SFCHC CEO Lance Toma stressed that health centers and clinics working with marginalized communities need more resources to reach at-risk populations with MPV information, vaccines, and testing.
“The bottom line is that there’s been such a tepid response to this outbreak at all levels,” Toma said. “And I feel like the folks that we serve – especially folks who are homeless, the trans community, and even gay men of color – we’re always last in line for resources.”