The White House coronavirus response coordinator said Friday that the "average person" does not need to worry about contracting the monkeypox because 98% of cases are among gay or bisexual men.
Dr. Ashish Jha made the comments on "Morning Joe" while being interviewed by Mika Brzezinski.
"This is a virus we've known about for maybe fifty, sixty years, so it's not a novel virus. We've got about 6,600 cases here in the United States. Thankfully nobody has died of this disease, and obviously we're going we're gonna hope that serious illness remains low, we're going to do everything we can to make that happen," said Jha.
"Right now, about 98% of the cases are among gay and bisexual men, spreading through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, so it is not something that, I think, the average person needs to be concerned about contracting," he added.
"It's not easily spread, there's a theoretical risk that it can be spread through surfaces but that's not what we're seeing," Jha concluded. "Right now we're really seeing almost all the spread happening from prolonged skin-to-skin contact."
Jha also responded to some of the criticism lobbed against the Biden administration related to the monkeypox, saying that the U.S. has procured more monkeypox vaccines than the rest of the world combined.
On Thursday, the Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a public health emergency in order to speed up the procurement and delivery of the vaccine.
Critics of the Biden administration have contrasted the response to the coronavirus crisis including a lockdown of the entire economy with the response to the monkeypox not including a ban against gay orgies, where many of the cases have originated.
Jha also credited the Biden administration for the fact that most people appear to have put the coronavirus behind them, which he called a good thing.
Here's the full video of the interview with Dr. Jha:
'Almost All' Monkeypox Spread From 'Prolonged Skin-To-Skin Contact': WH Covid Chief www.youtube.com