A coalition of LGBT organizations called on the Biden administration on Wednesday to expand testing and vaccine access for the monkeypox virus, warning that if no action is taken, California could become the epicenter for the disease.

In a letter addressed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, the coalition raised alarm over the number of monkeypox cases — also known as hMPXV — that are effecting men who have sex with men and the transgender community.

Thus far, the United States has recorded close to 2,000 monkeypox cases, according to the groups. Of those, California has 267 confirmed cases. Experts say that the number of cases is almost certainly higher due to the lack of testing.

“As of July 15, 2022, San Francisco had 86[6] known cases and Los Angeles County reported 109[7] known cases. Given a number of factors — including difficulty accessing testing and lack of awareness from both patients and providers about hMPVX — these numbers are likely a vast underestimate of the true number of hMPXV cases,” the groups wrote.

In the press release, the coalition warned that should the federal government fail to ramp up testing and access to vaccines, California could become the epicenter of virus in the U.S.

“The rate of infection and unmet needs will slowly push California to become the epicenter of the virus. Though hMPXV is known to have a short incubation period and is not fatal, fear of the virus is growing,” the groups wrote….

The above comes from a July 20 posting on The Hill.