During a press conference Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came out against states that have, or plan to, declare a state of emergency in response to the monkeypox outbreak.

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis came out against the idea Wednesday of declaring a state of emergency in reaction to the current monkeypox outbreak

  • According to the CDC, Florida has fifth most confirmed monkeypox cases in the country

  • So far, officials say three states with the largest number of monkeypox cases have declared states of emergency

“You see some of these states declaring states of emergency, they’re gonna abuse those emergency powers to restrict your freedom, I guarantee you that’s what’s gonna happen,” the Republican governor said during a question-and-answer portion of a press conference on the state’s new addiction care pilot program.

At 480, Florida has the fifth most confirmed monkeypox cases nationwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The state department of health reports 525 confirmed or probable cases in residents since May, the bulk of which (329) were reported last month.

The top three states in America for the monkeypox outbreak — New York, California and Illinois — recently declared states of emergency to help bolster vaccination efforts.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health told Spectrum News that so far 35,000 monkeypox vaccine doses have been administered or delivered, but demand is outweighing the supply coming from the national stockpile.

Still, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo called supply concerns into question at Wednesday’s press conference.

“We’ve had more vaccines in the state than we’ve actually administered to people," he said. "So there are questions about demand, but I think actually the bigger question is communication and access and people knowing where to get them from.”

Around 8,500 vaccine doses were distributed to agencies outside the Health Department, including hospitals that see high-risk patients and HIV providers, officials said.

Monkeypox can spread through close, skin-to-skin or intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox. 

No deaths have been reported in connection with monkeypox in Florida or nationwide.