Dear Secretary Becerra and Dr. Walensky:
We write to respectfully urge you to send a formal request to Congress for supplemental funding to combat the spread of monkeypox. As a new fiscal year approaches, a detailed request for supplemental funding will ensure Congress appropriates sufficient resources to stop the spread of this outbreak and support those who have been impacted.
We applaud your decision to declare monkeypox a public health emergency and believe Congress should provide additional resources to combat the spread of monkeypox. We urge you to promptly provide House and Senate Appropriations Committees with a request for funding detailing the funds needed to address all aspects of the outbreak, including to:
Provide financial and technical assistance to support frontline clinicians and state and local public health departments' efforts to hire and retain staff, provide clinical services, expand and improve clinical infrastructure, collect data, conduct contact tracing, coordinate outreach services, purchase supplies such as PPE, and educate the public;
Purchase, distribute, and administer sufficient quantities of vaccines and treatments;
Launch culturally competent public education campaigns--using an equity lens--targeting health care providers, the public, and groups that are disproportionately impacted by the monkeypox virus;
Expand testing capacity and reduce testing and treatment costs for the un- and under-insured;
Support enhanced data collection and reporting, including the number of monkeypox tests run, percent positivity, and demographic information;
Provide wraparound services for individuals forced to isolate for extended periods of time; and
Allocate sufficient funding to simultaneously test individuals for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and STIs.
A rapid response and robust funding are essential to containing this outbreak. We look forward to working with your agencies to enact a significant supplemental appropriations package to address this urgent need.