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DeSantis won't declare state of emergency over monkeypox outbreak

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. Israeli authorities said late Saturday, May 21, 2022, they have detected the country's first case of monkeypox in a man who returned from abroad and were looking into other suspected cases. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

Appointments to get the monkeypox vaccine at the Orange County Department of Health filled up in a matter of hours earlier this week. But Gov. Ron DeSantis won’t be declaring a state of emergency over the viral infection any time soon. 

Last week there were only 20 cases of monkeypox in Orange County. Now there’s more than 32 cases of the viral infection.  

Despite this spread and a shortage of monkeypox vaccines at local health departments, Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida will not be declaring a state of emergency, as Illinois, New York and California have already done.

“We are not doing fear. They’re going to do facts and we’re not going to go out and try to rile people up.”

DeSantis says these states of emergency are only ways to "restrict people's freedom," despite the fact getting monkeypox can be incredibly painful and debilitating. 

“You see some of these states declaring states of emergency, they’re going to abuse those emergency powers.”

The Orange County health department says all vaccine appointments are booked through the month of August. 

The department is expected to receive additional doses from the federal government. 

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.