News Wrap: WHO calls monkeypox virus a global emergency

In our news wrap Saturday, the WHO announced the monkeypox virus has now reached more than 70 countries and should be treated as a global emergency, two Americans were killed in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region while elsewhere Russia targeted Odesa, doctors say President Biden most likely contracted the BA-5 variant, and a raging wildfire near Yosemite triggered widespread evacuations.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    Good evening. It's good to be with you. And we start tonight with news about the monkeypox outbreak. Today, the World Health Organization announced the virus has now reached more than 70 countries and should be treated as a global emergency. That's the WHO's highest level of alert.

    Monkeypox has existed in parts of Africa for decades, but since May, cases had been reported on five other continents unaccustomed to the virus. In the U.S., there are nearly 3000 cases of monkeypox, that's according to the CDC, and nearly 17,000 cases worldwide. Washington D.C. has the highest number of monkeypox cases per capita in the country.

    Today, the war in Ukraine hit its 150th Day, and the State Department has confirmed that two Americans have been killed in the country's Eastern Donbass Region.

    Elsewhere, Russian missiles struck the southern port city of Odessa, one day after the two countries agreed to resume vital grain exports. Cellphone video captured a massive explosion around tankers and shipping containers. No injuries were reported. But the U.S. and United Nations condemned the strikes. Millions of tons of grain had been trapped in the country ready to export around the world.

    And the White House released a new letter from the President's physician today saying that President Biden most likely contracted BA.5, the highly contagious and now dominant COVID strain in the U.S. The President's symptoms are said to include a sore throat and body aches, as well as a runny nose and a loose cough, but his vital signs remain "entirely normal." Today, President Biden's Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said the president is on the med.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease: The President is doing very well. He continues to improve. So we continue to always be careful, but really the chances of him getting into severe difficulty is very, very low, given the fact that he's vaccinated, doubly boosted and he's on an antiviral drug.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    And a wildfire near Yosemite has exploded to nearly 7000 acres in just a day, triggering widespread evacuations. The Oak Fire started yesterday afternoon and has already grown into the state's largest active wildfire. It is 0% contained, has destroyed at least 10 structures and just threatening 1000s more according to Cal Fire. That's as temperatures soar across the country this weekend. According to the National Weather Service, more than 85 million Americans were under heat warnings or advisories today.

    And still to come on "PBS News Weekend," the economic costs of unchecked climate change, and the new technologies accelerating conspiracy theories.

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