Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Chair David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Co-Chair Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Co-Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) led 85 other congressional members in signing the letter.
The caucus asked for funding to combat monkeypox’s spread, including:
- Providing financial and technical support for clinicians’ and 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, and educate the public
- Purchasing, distributing, and administering an adequate number of vaccines and treatments
- Launching public education campaigns for healthcare providers, the public, and groups impacted by monkeypox
- Expanding testing capacity and reducing testing and treatment costs for un- and underinsured individuals
- Supporting enhanced data collecting and reporting, including the number of monkeypox tests ran, percent positivity, and demographic information
- Providing wraparound services for individuals who must isolate for extended periods of time
- Allocating funding to simultaneously test individuals for HIV and sexually transmitted infections
“Now is the time to act and address monkeypox as the public health emergency that it is. Although anyone can get monkeypox, LGBTQ+ people, and particularly men who have sex with men, have been disproportionally impacted by the outbreak,” Cicilline said. “We need the proper resources to support our clinics, hospitals, and health professionals as they address the continued spread of monkeypox. I urge the administration to act swiftly to provide Congress with a funding request so we can appropriate the necessary funds to address the monkeypox outbreak and prioritize the health and safety of the American people.”
As viruses spread, oncology nurses must understand how they affect their vulnerable patient population. ONS Voice’s Monkeypox Fact Sheet and Implications for Patients With Cancer gives you an overview of the virus with special considerations for the oncology setting.