CDC Monkeypox Response Leadership Update

September 2, 2022

Dear Colleague:

Beginning October 3, 2022, I will be deployed for a 6-month period as the Incident Manager for CDC’s monkeypox response. During my absence, Dr. Deron Burton, NCHHSTP Deputy Director, will be Acting Director of NCHHSTP.

Last month, Secretary Becerra declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.  The CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky has stated that one of the key steps to stopping disease outbreaks is to bring ourselves and our results-based partners into the response. This is true for monkeypox. We can bring effective information, testing, vaccination, and treatment to the communities affected by monkeypox, and work to decrease the health inequities already occurring with the virus.

As of this week, 18,989 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States and 50,814 internationally, with the majority of infections affecting gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Leading NCHHSTP and participating in emergency responses such as Ebola and COVID-19 has strengthened my partnerships with the people, communities, and organizations that need to be at the table now as we work to stop the spread of this infectious disease.

Monkeypox poses new concerns to health and safety. Its requires that all of us step up with our expertise, tools, partnerships, programs, and talent. Many LGBTQ-serving organizations, LGBTQ communities, clinicians, and others who have the expertise in infectious diseases and sexually transmitted infections have been asked and have joined the work to stop this outbreak.

Over the 6 months of my deployment, I will be depending on this experience, resolve, and partnerships. Many people within CDC and NCHHSTP are currently working on the monkeypox response, and many public health colleagues throughout the nation are being asked to take on additional responsibilities. I look forward to joining them in this effort.


/Jonathan Mermin/

Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH
RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Stay connected: @DrMerminCDC & Connections

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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2022