Politicians and public health officials are delivering mixed and confusing messages to the public about the origins of the monkeypox outbreak and the level of risk it poses to the public, while pharmaceutical companies are preparing to introduce monkeypox vaccines.
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As an unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox spreads throughout the west, questions continue to swirl around the origin of the outbreak, the risk it poses to the public and the measures that may or may not be required to contain the virus.
Some also wondered how unexpected the outbreak was after learning about a March 2021 tabletop simulation of a hypothetical deadly outbreak of monkeypox predicted to occur in May 2022.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Munich Security Conference — entities closely connected to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security — conducted the tabletop exercise.
Some analysts suggested the outbreak may have resulted from gain-of-function research or similar experiments involving the virus, while others floated the theory that malign actors, perhaps related to the conflict in Ukraine, intentionally released the virus.
Meanwhile, politicians and public health officials are delivering mixed and confusing messages to the public about the level of risk, while pharmaceutical companies are preparing to introduce monkeypox vaccines.
WHO responds with emergency meeting — just prior to its World Health Assembly
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it has considered monkeypox a “priority pathogen” for several years. Nevertheless, the new outbreak led the agency on May 20 to hold an emergency meeting of its Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards with Pandemic and Endemic Potential (STAG-IH) to discuss monkeypox.
STAG-IH, comprised of experts and scientists from around the world and chaired by David Heymann, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, advises the WHO on infection risks that could threaten global public health.
STAG-IH does not have the authority to declare a public health emergency of international concern — the WHO’s highest form of alert — which is currently active in relation to COVID-19.
The WHO convened the emergency meeting even though the organization was already set to meet for its World Health Assembly May 22-28 in Geneva, Switzerland — where members discussed proposed amendments to the existing International Health Regulations 2005, and where WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was re-elected without opposition to a second five-year term.
The WEF also held its annual meeting May 22-26 — in Davos, Switzerland, not far from Geneva.
Monkeypox response described as ‘gaslighting’
Continue reading on Source: As Questions Swirl Around Monkeypox Origins and Risk, Vaccine Makers Set Sights on Profits