California lawmakers to hold oversight hearing on state, local response to monkeypox

A group of California senators will hold an oversight hearing Tuesday on the state and local response to monkeypox. The hearing comes as California remains under a state of emergency as the number of monkeypox cases climbs. “We’re going to be talking to patients, people who have recovered from monkeypox, to physicians, people who treat monkeypox, so we can get on-the-ground feedback about what’s happening and what needs to happen,” said Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. Tuesday’s lineup of speakers includes California’s State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan, University of California San Francisco infectious disease expert Vivek Jain, plus other medical experts and local officials. Community, labor organizations and LGBTQ community members and leaders will also be represented at Tuesday’s hearing. The latest state data, which is updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays, shows California has recorded 1,310 confirmed cases of the virus statewide, with gay and bisexual men accounting for most of the cases. “As we know, with any infectious disease, it might start with one particular group but it always expands and so we want to make sure we nip it,” said Sen. Roscilicie Ochoa Bogh, the lone Republican on the State Senate’s Select Committee on monkeypox. “Information right now is incredibly important, and we need to make sure that we have it readily available, that we’re educating our front line workers and our population on how to identify, prevent and treat the monkeypox infection.”The group is also expecting an update from the administration on lawmakers’ request to approve $35.8 million in emergency funds to help counties respond to the virus.Lawmakers said they are also expecting an update on vaccines, testing, and information distribution at both the state and local levels, plus a look at how the state and federal governments are working together to respond to the outbreak. “The federal emergency declaration is very important,” Wiener said Monday. “It opens up a lot of flexibility and funding but it also allows the FDA to approve tests and treatment pursuant to an emergency use authorization.”Wiener has urged the FDA to give emergency use authorization to anti-viral medication, Tpoxx as a treatment for monkeypox. Wiener said without authorization, doctors have to spend hours on paperwork in order to provide the treatment. “The U.S. has millions of these treatments and we want physicians to get it to people immediately before they start experiencing excruciating pain,” Wiener said. Tuesday’s oversight hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the legislative office building on O Street in Sacramento.

A group of California senators will hold an oversight hearing Tuesday on the state and local response to monkeypox.

The hearing comes as California remains under a state of emergency as the number of monkeypox cases climbs.

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“We’re going to be talking to patients, people who have recovered from monkeypox, to physicians, people who treat monkeypox, so we can get on-the-ground feedback about what’s happening and what needs to happen,” said Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco.

Tuesday’s lineup of speakers includes California’s State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan, University of California San Francisco infectious disease expert Vivek Jain, plus other medical experts and local officials. Community, labor organizations and LGBTQ community members and leaders will also be represented at Tuesday’s hearing.

The latest state data, which is updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays, shows California has recorded 1,310 confirmed cases of the virus statewide, with gay and bisexual men accounting for most of the cases.

“As we know, with any infectious disease, it might start with one particular group but it always expands and so we want to make sure we nip it,” said Sen. Roscilicie Ochoa Bogh, the lone Republican on the State Senate’s Select Committee on monkeypox. “Information right now is incredibly important, and we need to make sure that we have it readily available, that we’re educating our front line workers and our population on how to identify, prevent and treat the monkeypox infection.”

The group is also expecting an update from the administration on lawmakers’ request to approve $35.8 million in emergency funds to help counties respond to the virus.

Lawmakers said they are also expecting an update on vaccines, testing, and information distribution at both the state and local levels, plus a look at how the state and federal governments are working together to respond to the outbreak.

“The federal emergency declaration is very important,” Wiener said Monday. “It opens up a lot of flexibility and funding but it also allows the FDA to approve tests and treatment pursuant to an emergency use authorization.”

Wiener has urged the FDA to give emergency use authorization to anti-viral medication, Tpoxx as a treatment for monkeypox. Wiener said without authorization, doctors have to spend hours on paperwork in order to provide the treatment.

“The U.S. has millions of these treatments and we want physicians to get it to people immediately before they start experiencing excruciating pain,” Wiener said.

Tuesday’s oversight hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the legislative office building on O Street in Sacramento.

Contributed by local news sources

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