Biden: Monkeypox threat doesn’t rise to level of COVID-19

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. calm / kɑm / (v.) – to reduce the trouble, worry, or panic in a situation

    The CEO calmed the protesting workers by promising to give them financial aid.

  2. institute / ˈɪn stɪˌtut / (v.) – to begin something or make something start operating

    The school instituted a lawsuit against the teacher.

  3. measure / ˈmɛʒ ər / (n.) – an action planned or taken to achieve a desired result

    The authorities advised people to take measures to protect themselves from the virus.

  4. presumptive / prɪˈzʌmp tɪv / (adj.) – believed to be true because of its likelihood

    The presumptive diagnosis is cancer, but the doctor needs to run tests to be sure.

  5. stockpile / ˈstɒkˌpaɪl / (n.) – a large supply of something essential that’s stored for future use

    The city coped well with the outbreak because it has a stockpile of medical supplies.


Read the text below.

President Joe Biden sought to calm concerns about recent cases of monkeypox that have been identified in Europe and the United States, saying he did not see the need to institute strict quarantine measures.

Speaking in Tokyo a day after he said the virus was something “to be concerned about,” Biden said, “I just don’t think it rises to the level of the kind of concern that existed with COVID-19.”

Monkeypox is rarely identified outside of Africa. But as of May 20, there were 80 confirmed cases worldwide, including at least two in the United States, and another 50 suspected ones. On May 22, one presumptive case of monkeypox also was being investigated in Broward County in South Florida, which state health officials said appeared to be related to international travel.

Although the disease belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, its symptoms are milder. People usually recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, but the disease occasionally is deadly.

Biden said the smallpox vaccine works for monkeypox. Asked whether the U.S. has enough stockpile of that vaccine to handle the monkeypox spread, Biden said, “I think we do have enough to deal with the likelihood of a problem.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Biden assured the people that monkeypox doesn’t rise to the level of the kind of concern that existed with COVID-19. How do you think this will affect how people respond to the disease (ex. they will be less careful, they will be at ease)? Discuss.
  • Do you think country leaders should always tell the public about the country’s true situation or are there things that shouldn’t be shared with the public to prevent panic? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think your country should have stricter measures on foreign travelers even if the threat of monkeypox is said to not be as serious as COVID-19? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, are nations now better prepared in case of another pandemic? Why or why not? Discuss.