Dr. Celine Gounder: "On Monkeypox: It's not Surprising That We're Stumbling Again"

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Dr. Celine Gounder, senior fellow & editor-at-large for public health at KFF's Kaiser Health News, joins J. Stephen Morrison and Andrew Schwartz for this 143rd episode. Monkeypox has spread beyond the endemic regions, and is rapidly becoming a pandemic. It has already become de facto politicized in the United States because of the community affected, but monkeypox per se is not a gay disease and I will soon reach beyond men-who-have-sex-with- men and endanger the immunocompromised, pregnant women and newborns. Covid-19 taught us that we need to invest in public health infrastructure and move rally fast in introducing tests, data collection, vaccines and therapies, but the U.S. government is not moving quickly enough and at the scale required to avoid monkeypox becoming a permanent fixture in the United States. BA.5, the latest Covid variant, is moving very quickly because its spike proteins are so different from other variants that people are losing residual immunity. New vaccines are in development, but BA.5 may no longer be the dominant variant by the time they become available.