Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) urged the federal government Monday to ramp up access to monkeypox vaccines as cases of the virus continue to rise.
“We cannot wait any longer to take action against the spread of monkeypox,” de Blasio said in a Twitter thread on Monday.
De Blasio officially announced his run for New York’s 10th District last month after months of speculation and after eight years as mayor. He is in a crowded race for the House seat.
Among the steps de Blasio recommended in his thread was invoking the Defense Production Act to ramp up access to the vaccines.
“Invoke the Defense Production Act to fill the need for vaccines in the US,” the former NYC mayor wrote in his thread. “There really is no time to waste in a crisis like this, and there is so much that federal and city officials can do right now to get control of this crisis.”
He also pushed for federal agencies to make at least one dose available for patients who are considered at high risk of infection and for educating the public on how and why the virus spreads.
The number of confirmed weekly monkeypox cases in New York City had doubled as of last week, according to data from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The department said in a tweet on Tuesday that 111 people had tested positive in New York City so far, up from 55 a week prior.
The Biden administration last week announced plans to distribute up to 144,00 more doses of the Jynneos vaccine in an effort to combat the recent spike of monkeypox cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 700 monkeypox cases in 37 U.S. states.
Steve Adams, director of the Strategic National Stockpile, said in a statement the department is using every tool available to vaccinate those in high-risk communities.