KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

COVID-19 Pandemic Threatens Decades Of Progress On Global Poverty, Report Says

Devex: COVID-19 threatens decades of progress on global poverty, report says
“The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to create a ‘new era’ of poverty, putting decades of progress at risk, research from the United Nations University suggests. In a worst-case scenario, more than half a billion people — almost 8% of the global population — could be pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic, according to modeling by researchers at UNU’s World Institute for Development Economics Research…” (Worley, 4/9).

Slate: Global Poverty Could Increase for the First Time in 30 Years Thanks to the Coronavirus
“…The report from the World Institute for Development Economics Research at United Nations University, a U.N.-founded think tank, finds that if global incomes drop 5 percent due to the pandemic — a conservative estimate of the likely consequences from multiple months of lockdown — the number of people living in extreme poverty (measured as wages of $1.90 per day) would increase by 1 percent. A more drastic 10 percent contraction would increase the extreme poverty rate by up to 6 percent. The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, which call for entirely eliminating extreme poverty by 2030, are looking very shaky right now…” (Keating, 4/8).

Additional coverage of the UNU’s report and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on global economies is available from Devex (2), The Guardian, New York Times, Quartz Africa, and U.N. News (2).

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Zimbabwe, South Sudan Among Most Vulnerable To COVID-19 In Africa; Various Nations Approve Coronavirus-Related Funding Packages

AFRICA

The Guardian: Coronavirus in Africa: what happens next? (Hodal/Okiror, 4/8).

The Hill: Ethiopia declares state of emergency due to coronavirus (Klar, 4/8).

NPR: 10,000 Cases and 500 Deaths in Africa. Health Officials Say It’s Just the Beginning (Huang, 4/8).

Reuters: U.N. seeks $130 million to prevent hunger catastrophe in Zimbabwe (Dzirutwe, 4/8).

U.N. News: Over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa; Zimbabwe and South Sudan among most vulnerable (4/8).

ASIA

NBC: New Chinese data on asymptomatic coronavirus cases could help world response (Givetash, 4/9).

New York Times: While the World Spends on Coronavirus Bailouts, China Holds Back (Bradsher, 4/9).

Reuters: Australia to subsidize wages of 6 million after coronavirus package approved (Packham, 4/7).

EUROPE

Reuters: Pass the salt: The minute details that helped Germany build virus defenses (Poltz et al. 4/9).

Washington Post: With Holy Week hushed by a pandemic, the pope does social distancing his own way (Harlan et al., 4/9).

LATIN AMERICA

AP: AP Interview: ‘Lula’ says Bolsonaro a disaster amid pandemic (Savarese/Biller, 4/8).

New York Times: Ecuador Gives Glimpse Into Pandemic’s Impact on Latin America (Cabrera et al., 4/8).

Reuters: Chile announces $2 billion fund to benefit informal workers amid coronavirus outbreak (Sherwood, 4/8).

MIDDLE EAST

Bloomberg: Counting the Costs of the Coronavirus Contagion in the Middle East (Daoud, 4/7).

Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus is a weapon in Mideast disinformation campaigns (4/8).

Reuters: Gaza runs out of coronavirus tests, Palestinian health officials say (al-Mughrabi, 4/8).

NORTH AMERICA

CNN: Birx says drop in U.S. death projection is due to Americans changing their behavior through social distancing (Carvajal, 4/8).

New York Times: Most New York Coronavirus Cases Came From Europe, Genomes Show (Zimmer, 4/8).

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E.U. To Reallocate More Than €15.6B For International COVID-19 Response; Devex Interactive Tool Examines Coronavirus Funding Data

Devex: E.U. rejigs over €15B in existing aid for coronavirus response
“The European Commission will reallocate more than €15.6 billion ($16.9 billion) to tackle COVID-19 outside the European Union, with the bloc’s foreign affairs chief vowing that no country will be worse off as a result. … The €15.6 billion, of which €5.2 billion came from the European Investment Bank, grew to more than €20 billion by the end of a meeting of E.U. development officials Wednesday, with a further €4 billion from individual E.U. member states and €1 billion from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development…” (Chadwick, 4/8).

Devex: Interactive: Who’s funding the COVID-19 response and what are the priorities?
“Global funding support to prevent, combat, and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 continues to grow. An analysis of Devex funding data between Jan. 1 and April 5 lists 569 initiatives worth $10.9 trillion. Since March 24, an additional 324 initiatives were announced adding a value of $6.3 trillion. … This article will be updated regularly with COVID-19 funding announcements…” (Cornish, 4/8).

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POLITICO Examines U.N.'s Global Coordination Role In Coronavirus Pandemic

POLITICO: The United Nations goes missing
“It took more than three months, a death toll above 87,000 and cases in more than 180 countries, repeated pleas from smaller nations, and a growing sense of shame among senior diplomats — but the United Nations Security Council is finally going to meet to discuss the coronavirus. That is, in a private session unlikely to yield any serious action. If anything, Thursday’s meeting — to be held via video conference — is likely to further expose the growing irrelevance of the United Nations as a venue for countries to hash out disputes and cooperate on common crises. Overall, global coordination of the pandemic response has been minimal. But when leading countries have announced their willingness to do ‘whatever it takes’ to fight the virus, they’ve turned to ad hoc forums like the Group of 20, rather than the more comprehensive body of the United Nations…” (Toosi/Heath, 4/8).

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WHO DG Warns Against Politicizing COVID-19 After Trump Threatens To Freeze Funding, Others Criticize Agency Over Outbreak's Handling; Taiwan Protests Tedros' Accusations Of Racist Campaign

AP: Taiwan protests WHO leader’s accusations of racist campaign
“Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Thursday strongly protested accusations from the head of the World Health Organization that the self-governing island was linked to and condoned racist personal attacks on him…” (Lai, 4/9).

The Hill: WHO chief warns against ‘politicizing’ coronavirus unless ‘you want to have more body bags’
“The World Health Organization’s (WHO) director-general on Wednesday warned world leaders against politicizing the novel coronavirus after President Trump threatened to cut off funding to the organization due its handling of the outbreak. Speaking at a virtual press conference, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged leaders to focus on saving lives, arguing that political attacks would only lead to ‘more body bags’…” (Wise, 4/8).

New York Times: Trump Slammed the WHO Over Coronavirus. He’s Not Alone.
“President Trump unleashed a tirade against the World Health Organization on Tuesday, accusing it of acting too slowly to sound the alarm about the coronavirus. It was not the first time in this pandemic that the global health body has faced such criticism. Government officials, health experts and analysts have in recent weeks raised concerns about how the organization has responded to the outbreak. … Critics say the WHO has been too trusting of the Chinese government, which initially tried to conceal the outbreak in Wuhan. Others have faulted the organization and its leader, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for moving too slowly in declaring a global health emergency…” (Hernández, 4/8).

STAT: Trump faulted the WHO’s coronavirus response. But it’s guided by rules the U.S. helped write
“…Sometimes [the WHO] has deserved criticism, as when it was slow to recognize the seriousness of the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014. But more often, it draws blame because it’s an easy target — an international body that seems to have more power than it actually does. In fact, its actions are guided by rules written by its member countries — including the United States…” (Branswell, 4/8).

U.N. News: World Health Organization ‘absolutely critical’ to neutralizing coronavirus threat — U.N. chief
“The World Health Organization (WHO) must be supported across the world, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday, describing the U.N. health agency, which has led the multilateral response since the beginning, as ‘absolutely critical’ in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic…” (4/8).

Additional coverage of the WHO, Trump and other critics, and Taiwan is available from CBS, CNBC, Fox News (2), The Guardian (2), The Hill, NPR, POLITICO, Reuters (2) (3), Science, U.N. News, and Wall Street Journal.

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News Media Examine President Trump's Accountability During COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Mother Jones: Will Trump and His Enablers Ever Face Accountability for the Coronavirus Massacre? (Corn, 4/8).

POLITICO: Trump’s coronavirus response relies on companies, just not his (Kumar, 4/9).

Washington Post: Coronavirus crisis highlights Trump’s resistance to criticism — and his desire for fervent praise (Parker/Gearan, 4/8).

Washington Post: Trump’s resistance to independent oversight draws bipartisan scrutiny (Kim et al., 4/8).

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Media Outlets Report On Coronavirus-Related Actions, Comments From U.S. VP, Lawmakers, Health Experts, Intelligence Community

ABC News: Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources (Margolin/Meek, 4/8).

Axios: Citing coronavirus, lawmakers call for a ban on wildlife markets (Harder, 4/8).

CNN: U.S. intelligence agencies started tracking coronavirus outbreak in China as early as November (Cohen et al., 4/9).

POLITICO: Pence and Fauci have some rare positive news about the coronavirus (Zanona/Cagyle, 4/8).

POLITICO: How the CDC director became the MAGA whisperer on coronavirus (Tahir, 4/9).

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Coronavirus Lockdowns Should Not Be Lifted Fully Until Effective Vaccine Developed, Lancet Modeling Study Suggests; Search For Vaccine Continues But Will Take Time

CNN: Lockdowns shouldn’t be fully lifted until coronavirus vaccine found, new study warns
“Coronavirus lockdowns across the globe should not be completely lifted until a vaccine for the disease is found, according to a study based on China’s outbreak published in medical journal The Lancet. China’s draconian restrictions on daily life appear to have halted the first wave of Covid-19 across much of the country, but the researchers used mathematical modeling to show that premature lifting of measures could result in a sweeping second wave of infection…” (Reynolds, 4/9).

ABC (Australia): A vaccine for coronavirus is the goal, but what does it take to get there? (Taylor, 4/8).

New York Times: More Coronavirus Vaccines and Treatments Move Toward Human Trials (Sheikh/Thomas, 4/8).

Wall Street Journal: What AIDS Taught Coronavirus Leaders: You Can’t Bank on a Fast Vaccine (Radnofsky/Cohen, 4/8).

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Saudi Officials Announce Cease-Fire In Yemen Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

AP: Saudi officials announce Yemen cease-fire amid pandemic
“The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Wednesday that its forces would begin a cease-fire starting Thursday, a step that could pave the way for the first direct peace talks between the two sides that have been at war for more than five years. In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the cease-fire would last two weeks and that it comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic…” (Michael/Al-Haj, 4/8).

Additional coverage on the cease-fire is available from Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, New York Times, Reuters, and Washington Post.

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Media Outlets Discuss Role Of Billionaires In COVID-19 Response

CNBC: Bill Gates: This is how long it may take before Americans ‘can be completely safe’ from COVID-19 (Clifford, 4/8).

Financial Times: Bill Gates urges rich countries to fund coronavirus vaccine search (Kortekaas, 4/9).

Vox: These are the trade-offs we make when we depend on billionaires to save us (Schleifer, 4/7).

Washington Post: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey joins billionaires, celebrities aiming their wealth at coronavirus devastation (Siegel, 4/8).

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Devex Examines Outgoing USAID Administrator Mark Green's Contributions To USAID

Devex: How Mark Green held the line at USAID
“Faced with repeated attacks on his budget, political demands from the White House, and an administration that doubted the basic premise of foreign assistance, Mark Green managed to protect — and maybe even sharpen — USAID’s development mission…” (Igoe, 4/8).

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More News In Global Health

Borgen Magazine: Prenatal Care in Developing Countries (Sprimont, 4/8).

CP/Globe and Mail: UNICEF warns coronavirus has sparked a rise in online child sexual predators (Blanchfield, 4/8).

Devex: In Haiti, peanut farmers boost income — and children’s nutrition (Welsh, 4/6).

Devex: Study highlights Rohingya eye care demand (Chadwick, 4/8).

Financial Times: Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs — an urgent manifesto (Ahuja, 4/8).

Fox News: Do countries with high rates of malaria have fewer coronavirus deaths? (McKay, 4/8).

New York Times: Why Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Flourish. And Why It Matters (Fisher, 4/8).

NPR: On The Trail: Global Pandemic Edition (4/8).

SciDev.Net: Rich countries ‘raiding’ developing world’s nurses (Broom, 4/8).

USA TODAY: Colgate-Palmolive partners with World Health Organization to make millions of soap bars (Murphy, 4/8).

Xinhua: Casualties of dengue fever in Indonesia jump, disease spreads rapidly (4/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Global Response

Al Jazeera: Medical colonialism in Africa is not new
Karsten Noko, Zimbabwean lawyer and humanitarian working across sub-Saharan Africa (4/8).

Bloomberg: Covid-19 Is Trapping Ecuador Between Death and Debt
Mac Margolis, Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Latin and South America (4/8).

Bloomberg: The WHO Messed Up, But So Did Trump
Therese Raphael, editorial writer on European politics and economics for Bloomberg Opinion (4/8).

The Conversation: The big asks Africa needs to table with the IMF and World Bank: here’s the list
Danny Bradlow, SARCHI professor of international development law and African economic relations at the University of Pretoria (4/8).

Devex: Opinion: Why community health workers matter now more than ever
Jessica Daly, director of global health for the Medtronic Foundation (4/9).

Devex: Opinion: COVID-19 — How to avert the worst development crisis of this century
Achim Steiner, UNDP administrator and vice-chair of the U.N. Development Group, and Angel Gurría, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (4/9).

Financial Times: How to get the world from Covid-19 to Covid-Zero with just $8bn
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust (4/8).

New Yorker: What Lessons Does the AIDS Crisis Offer for the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Masha Gessen, staff writer at the New Yorker and author (4/8).

New York Times: Europe Poised to Repeat Austerity Mistakes in Coronavirus Response
Editorial Board (4/9).

POLITICO Magazine: Blaming the WHO and China Is Not Scapegoating
Rich Lowry, editor of National Review and contributing editor with POLITICO Magazine (4/8).

Project Syndicate: Africa’s COVID-19 Budget Crunch
Biniam Bedasso, researcher and public finance specialist, and Neil Cole, executive secretary, both at the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) (4/8).

Project Syndicate: Mobilizing Development Banks to Fight COVID-19
Stephany Griffith-Jones, emeritus fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and financial markets director at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University; Régis Marodon, special adviser on sustainable finance at the French Development Agency (AFD); and José Antonio Ocampo, professor at Columbia University and author (4/8).

Project Syndicate: Vietnam’s Low-Cost COVID-19 Strategy
Hong Kong Nguyen, researcher at the A.I. for Social Data Lab (4/8).

STAT: Learning about epidemic response from sub-Saharan African countries
Angie T. Dennis, Liberian health researcher and Ebola survivor, and Katherina Thomas, global health researcher on epidemics and visiting researcher at MIT and Harvard University (4/9).

STAT: CDC: remember who you are
Sudip Parikh, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals (4/8).

The Telegraph: Trump is right: the rotten World Health Organisation should be reformed or abolished
Christopher Snowdon, author and freelance journalist (4/8).

Washington Post: There are no ‘America First’ solutions to global problems like pandemics
Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and global affairs analyst for CNN (4/8).

Washington Post: As Ecuador struggles to contain the coronavirus, economic anxiety also spreads
María Sol Borja, Ecuadoran journalist and politics editor of gk.city (4/9).

Washington Post: Is Sweden’s lax approach to the coronavirus backfiring?
Paulina Neuding, European editor at Quillette Magazine, and Tino Sanandaji, economist (4/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

European Commission Announces Global Response To COVID-19

European Commission: Q&A: Global E.U. response to the coronavirus pandemic
“To address the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs in partner countries, as well as longer term and structural impact on societies and economies in partner countries, the E.U. will secure financial support to partner countries amounting to more than €15.6 billion from existing external action resources. Together with our partners, we are making sure that the substantial E.U. funding already allocated to them is targeted to help them deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic…” (4/8).

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UNAIDS Posts Address Agency's Response To COVID-19, Needs Of People With HIV During Pandemic

UNAIDS: Sex workers must not be left behind in the response to COVID-19 (4/8).

UNAIDS: Ensuring that people living with HIV in the Philippines have access to treatment during COVID-19 (4/8).

UNAIDS: New innovations map to strengthen the response to COVID-19 (4/8).

UNAIDS: U.N. Volunteers support joint COVID-19 response in Kenya (4/8).

UNAIDS: Living with HIV under lockdown (4/7).

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Global Health Community Addresses Various Angles Of COVID-19 Pandemic

Center for Global Development: Strengthening the Basics: Approaches to COVID-19 Care in Low-Resource Settings
Sharif Ismail, faculty of medicine at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, and colleagues from the Center for Global Development and King’s College London (4/8).

Guttmacher Institute: Nine Things Congress Must Do to Safeguard Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Age of COVID-19
Zara Ahmed, senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, and colleagues (4/8).

ONE: Tension from lockdown response to COVID-19 in Africa
Edwin Ikhuoria, Africa executive director at ONE (4/6).

ONE: How the world can come together on a COVID-19 response plan (4/8).

Physicians for Human Rights: 11 Leading U.S. Health Professionals Associations Issue Joint Statement to Demand Protections for Health Workers (4/6).

Science Speaks: COVID-19: Are refugee camps prepared for the coronavirus?
Kwan Kew Lai, Harvard Medical School faculty physician and author (4/8).

World Economic Forum: ‘That’s enough’ — Global leaders must unite to fight COVID-19: WHO briefing
Linda Lacina, digital editor with the World Economic Forum (4/8).

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WHO Releases Statement From 24th Meeting Of IHR Emergency Committee On Poliovirus

WHO: Statement of the Twenty-Fourth IHR Emergency Committee
This statement of the twenty-fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee on the international spread of poliovirus, which was convened via teleconference on March 26, provides an overview of data on wild poliovirus and circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses, as well as discusses the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the risk of polio transmission and potential for international spread (4/8).

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From the U.S. Government

President Trump, Vice President Pence, Members Of Coronavirus Task Force Provide Update On U.S. Response To COVID-19 In Press Briefing

White House: Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing
In this press briefing held Wednesday evening, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force discuss developments regarding the U.S. response to COVID-19 (4/8).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Resources Examine Global, Domestic Issues Related To COVID-19 Pandemic

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of April 9, 2020 (4/9).

Additional KFF COVID-19 resources, including those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here. KFF’s new blog series “Coronavirus Policy Watch” is available here.

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