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Monkeypox, a relative of smallpox, is spreading at unnerving rates and in unprecedented places, including the U.S. More than 1,500 cases have been registered in over 30 countries, including in at least 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

However, the biggest worry for Americans is not the disease: It’s that our response to it shows how little we have learned from COVID-19, and how much there is still to do to limit the risks from future pandemics.

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