NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City health commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan joined PIX11 Morning News on Wednesday to provide updates on the battles against both monkeypox and COVID-19.

“We are most definitely the epicenter of this outbreak in the United States,” said Vasan of monkeypox, which has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization.

Vasan called on the federal government to augment vaccination supplies and testing capacity for New York City, where the number of monkeypox diagnoses surpassed 1,000 on Monday.

“We’re working in partnership, but it is a big challenge for sure,” said Vasan.

The commissioner also provided an update on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Though diagnoses have once again surged of late, Vasan offered cautious optimism, noting that, thanks to a high rate of vaccination, many of those cases have been less severe.

“For the first time in this epidemic, we are seeing a real break between case transmission and severe illness, including ICU admissions and deaths,” he said.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.