Gottlieb: Monkeypox a Public Healthcare Failure

Quoting from the Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb‘s OpEd on The New York Times, The Hill writes that the federal government’s healthcare infrastructure is not capable of dealing with public health emergencies like Covid-19 and monkeypox.

In thee OpEd, Gottlieb writes:

  • “Our country’s response to monkeypox ‌‌has been plagued by the same shortcomings we had with Covid-19.
  • “Now if monkeypox ‌gains a permanent foothold in the U‌nited States and becomes an endemic virus that joins our circulating repertoire of pathogens, it will be one of the worst public health failures in modern times not only because of the pain and peril of the disease but also because it was so avoidable. Our lapses extend beyond political decision making to the agencies tasked with protecting us from these threats.
  • “Its cultural instinct is to take a deliberative approach, debating each decision. With Covid, the virus ‌‌gained ground quickly. With ‌‌monkeypox, which spreads more slowly, typically through very close contact, the shortcomings of CDC’s cultural approach haven’t been as acute yet. But the shortfalls are the same.
  • “Focus the CDC more on its core mission of outbreak response. And imbue the agency with the national security mind-set that it had at its origins. If the CDC mission were more tightly focused on the elements required for handling contagion, Congress might be more willing to invest it with the robust authority to do that targeted mission well.
  • “After Covid, there’s a view among some that public health agencies used flawed analysis and miscalculated their advice. Securing a political consensus that the CDC needs to be further empowered to complete its mission ‌‌ — for example, invested with the authority to compel reporting from states ‌‌ — is politically unobtainable.”