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U.S. records potential first monkeypox death in Texas

Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani explains that Texas has reported the first death of a patient with monkeypox.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: The first death of a patient in the US with monkeypox has been reported. Anjalee Khemlani is here with the details. Anj.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right, Seana. Texas Health Department is confirming the report that someone who is severely immunocompromised has died. And they did have monkeypox. Now, it's not clear if they died from monkeypox, and that's something that the health department is currently investigating.

An important reminder that of the 18,000 US cases reported, zero deaths so far. But that doesn't match what we've seen globally from this variant of the monkeypox that's circulating. So far, 48,000 cases with several deaths in non-endemic areas, including Brazil, Spain, and India. So it was really a matter of time before we might see one on-shore, but more details to come.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Well, thank you for that update. And, Anjalee, we know that the Department of Health and Human Services also holding a meeting today to plan for the end-- to end the government payments for COVID-19 shots and treatments. What do we know so far?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right. So we don't have the details of the meeting just yet, but we know that this is a planning session. And drug companies, pharmacies, and insurers have been invited to discussed the idea of the commercial market of COVID vaccines and treatments. This is something that the vaccine companies in particular have already noted was the transition they're aiming for, telling us that they will prepare or were preparing for a 2023 commercial market.

But we know that the White House COVID-19 response team coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha had noted before that that transition is going to be happening this fall. Now, a clue as to what is in store lies in a notification from the health department on one of the treatments-- that is the monoclonal antibody by Eli Lilly-- has already started to transition into a commercial market as of August 15.

They did note that the health care providers were going to be able to continue ordering from the government for about a week. They had about a week's supply. But then after that, they would have to directly order from AmerisourceBergen, the sole provider that was working with Eli Lilly.

So that might be sort of what we see in terms of commercialization. Now, the question still remains, of course, who will be paying for this out-of-pocket? What will the out-of-pocket costs be for Americans? And what will be the fate of uninsured individuals in the US? And those are details we're still waiting to hear.

Now, all of this, of course, culminates in what we see as sort of the outlook for the pandemic. And I spoke to Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier today discussing that-- and specifically, his thoughts on just how this has panned out and what to expect. Listen to it.

ANTHONY FAUCI: We thought we were ready for this pandemic, and we were judged by independent organizations that the United States was the best prepared for a pandemic. And yet when you look at what happened to us as a country, we were as severely or more severely hit than many, many other countries. And the deaths per million population in the United States is higher than any country in the world.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: So as you can hear, the US didn't fare as well as we could have and should have, considering the resources. He didn't sound too confident that we're ready just yet for the next pandemic. Back to you.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Indeed. Well, a big thank you there-- Anjalee Khemlani, thanks for joining us.