Los Angeles LGBT Center Applauds Gov. Newson, LA County for Declaring Human Monkeypox Health Emergency - Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center Applauds Gov. Newson, LA County for Declaring Human Monkeypox Health Emergency

August 2, 2022
Contact: Media Relations

Increased Access to Testing and Vaccines Should Be Top Priority

The Los Angeles LGBT Center today applauded Gov. Gavin Newsom for his leadership in declaring human monkeypox a public health emergency in California. 

SEE: Governor Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency to Support State’s Response to Monkeypox (gov.ca.gov)

ALSO SEE: “It’s Time to Start Treating Human Monkeypox Like the Emergency It Is” (Joe Hollendoner Op-Ed – LGBTNewsNow.com)

The Los Angeles LGBTC Center commends the County Board of Supervisors for declaring a public health emergency in response to the rapidly spreading human monkeypox virus. As our organization said in a letter last week to the Board and the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) calling for such a declaration, this is an important step in developing a coherent, coordinated response to the current health crisis.

The Center now calls on the Board and DPH to follow up by designating specific resources for public health clinics and community partner organizations to ensure rapid and easy access to testing for all potentially symptomatic people. In addition, the county must provide additional funding to community partner organizations like the Center that are bearing the burden in treatment and care for those who are infected with the virus. And finally, we ask the County, working together with community health organizations, to initiate and maintain pressure on state and federal governments to ensure a serious, ongoing commitment to addressing the state of emergency.

The Center is pleased to see this initial action in confronting the spread of the virus. We believe L.A. County can become a national leader in ending this outbreak, and we look forward to our continued collaboration. Working together, joined in a strong, coordinated response, we can make a real difference in slowing the spread of the virus and improving the health and wellness of the LGBTQ community and all residents of the county. 

“Governor Newsom is taking the necessary steps to keep all communities safe and making it clear that monkeypox is not just an LGBT issue,” said the Center’s CEO Joe Hollendoner. “Now, the State can marshal its resources to contain the present outbreak and prevent human monkeypox from becoming a longstanding epidemic in California.”

To date, at least 22,400 cases have been reported around the world, with more than 5,100 confirmed cases in the United States and almost 18% of these domestic cases occurring in L.A. County. 

Declaring a state of emergency is the first step in many that are needed to turn the tide in the spread of human monkeypox. The next step is to vastly increase access to testing and vaccines, as well as to treatment. We ask L.A. County to follow the Governor’s lead and declare a public health emergency.

Last week, the Center sent Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, a letter urging them to take immediate action and declare a state of emergency for the county as it would help increase access to vaccines.
Vaccines are our best strategy to help contain the spread of this disease and limit the pain and suffering of those who become infected. Unfortunately, vaccine supplies from the federal government are still extremely limited, leaving most at-risk clients and community members unvaccinated and unprotected.

About the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center's nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.

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