HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra is scheduled to hold a press conference on monkeypox Thursday morning.
A White House spokesman said there were no updates at this time.
Biden officials have debated for days whether monkeypox should be declared a public health emergency after US and WHO health officials this week said the risk to the general population is low. HHS stated some public health emergencies in recent years, including Covid-19 and the opioid crisis.
“I think it deserves to be one,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We have many challenges across the country with the rate of increase in terms of new cases. It is not an emergency that poses a … high threat to the general population. But it is still moving … and has the potential to spread to other vulnerable communities.”
Talk of such a statement comes as the virus continues to spread across the country. Nearly 3,600 cases have been reported in the US. New York City remains the epicenter of the outbreak, with most cases occurring among men who have sex with men.
The CDC on Tuesday said it was making monkeypox a nationally notifiable condition, which directs state public health agencies to use a specific case definition and follow a specific rubric when submitting surveillance data to the agency. The measure will allow the CDC to more closely monitor the spread across the country.
However, concerns about the spread of the virus have some within the administration worried about future transmission given the lack of vaccine doses available. The Biden administration has also faced growing criticism over the pace of its response from public health experts, who fear the window to improve and eradicate the disease is closing.
HHS is expected to announce the release of several hundred thousand more doses this week after the Food and Drug Administration said it had completed its inspection of the vaccine at a production site in Denmark.
Sarah Owermohle contributed to this report.