KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Media Outlets Examine Trump, Biden Positions On Foreign Policy, COVID-19 Ahead Of U.S. Presidential Election

NPR: Trump And Biden On Global Issues: From Reproductive Rights To Refugees
“This election season — like many before it — has been dominated by domestic issues. But whether Americans elect Donald Trump or Joe Biden president will also have significant consequences for the rest of the world, especially those countries that count on U.S. foreign aid. And when it comes to aid and other global issues, Trump and Biden’s policies are starkly different. While former Vice President Biden has outlined some of his plans and priorities for the future, President Trump’s campaign has focused more on what he’s done in his first term. Still, Trump’s past words and actions should be a good indicator of how he intends to move forward if re-elected. Below is a summary of what Trump and Biden have said (or done) on these matters…” (Lu, 10/22).

CNN: Biden: Trump says we’re learning to live with coronavirus, but “people are learning to die with it” (Wagner et al., 10/22).

Foreign Policy: Poll: How Biden and Trump Differ on Foreign Policy (Blanes et al., 10/22).

The Hill: Trump, Biden clash over coronavirus response, mounting death toll (Sullivan, 10/22).

STAT: As Trump misleadingly boasts of ’rounding the turn’ on Covid-19, Biden warns of ‘dark winter’ (Facher, 10/22).

Vox: Trump on Covid-19: “I take full responsibility. It’s not my fault” (Lopez, 10/22).

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More Than 140 Lawmakers Call On Congressional Leaders To Improve Pandemic Preparedness

CNBC: Progressive lawmakers call on congressional leaders to prepare for next pandemic
“More than 100 Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives, largely progressives, are calling on congressional leaders to take steps to prepare the United States for the next pandemic and mitigate racial disparities in U.S. health care. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., spearheaded a letter sent to the top Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate on Thursday calling on them to ‘lay the groundwork to prevent and mitigate future pandemics’…” (Higgins, 10/22).

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FDA Formally Approves Remdesivir As First Drug To Treat Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

New York Times: FDA Approves Remdesivir as First Drug to Treat Covid-19
“The Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that it had formally approved remdesivir as the first drug to treat Covid-19, a move that indicated the government’s confidence in its safe and effective use for hospitalized patients. … The FDA had granted remdesivir emergency authorization in May after a trial by the National Institutes of Health found that it modestly reduced the recovery time in hospitalized patients. President Trump received the antiviral drug after he began showing symptoms earlier this month. The drug does not prevent death from Covid-19. The formal approval by the FDA indicated that the drug had cleared more rigorous regulatory hurdles involving a more thorough review of clinical data and manufacturing quality since it was given emergency authorization in May…” (Levenson, 10/22).

Additional coverage of the FDA’s approval of remdesivir is available from AP, CNBC, and Financial Times.

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FDA Advisory Committee Discusses Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Safety, Efficacy Standards In All-Day Meeting

Washington Post: FDA advisory committee debates safety and efficacy standards for a coronavirus vaccine
“Vaccine experts on Thursday rigorously debated the Food and Drug Administration’s planned standards for clearing a coronavirus vaccine quickly for broad use, discussing what level of evidence would be sufficient to establish safety and effectiveness. The FDA advisory committee, in an all-day virtual meeting, did not consider any specific vaccine. The session served in large part as a venue for the agency to try to reassure the public that any vaccine will be held to a high standard, not the relatively low bar used this year for emergency use authorization for treatments. The FDA said that though it probably will grant emergency use authorizations — which can be handed out faster than full approvals — for the early vaccines, it will use robust criteria similar to those applied in regular approvals. But committee members, and some individuals during the public hearing part of the meeting, weren’t all convinced…” (McGinley/Johnson, 10/22).

Additional coverage of the meeting is available from New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Reuters, and USA TODAY.

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African Nations Plan To Roll Out Coronavirus Rapid Testing; African Export Import Bank Readies Fundraising For Vaccines

Devex: Roll out of rapid testing could be a ‘game changer’ for Africa
“African nations are planning to ramp up the use of rapid diagnostic tests as part of their national strategies for testing for COVID-19, according to Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. … This could be a ‘game changer’ in the fight against COVID-19 across the continent, Moeti said during a press conference on Thursday…” (Jerving, 10/23).

Additional coverage of the roll out of rapid testing and the African Export Import Bank’s fundraising for any approved coronavirus vaccine is available from AP and Reuters.

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News Outlets Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Vaccine R&D, Availability, Licensing; Antibody Drug Access; Operation Warp Speed Leadership; Drug Shortages

CNBC: ‘Learn to live with the pandemic’: Physicians warn that a vaccine may not prevent Covid from becoming endemic (Meredith, 10/22).

The Hill: Azar says COVID-19 vaccine could be delivered to vulnerable people by January (Axelrod, 10/22).

NPR: How Will The Limited Supply Of Antibody Drugs For COVID-19 Be Allocated? (Harris, 10/21).

STAT: Blood plasma showed no benefit in Covid-19 patients in trial — a finding that could re-energize debate (Garde/Herper, 10/22).

STAT: ‘A matter of life and death’: Why a Brazilian lawmaker wants compulsory licensing for Covid-19 products (Silverman, 10/22).

STAT: Democrats want to fire Warp Speed’s Moncef Slaoui and overhaul the program. But if Biden wins, should he? (Florko, 10/22).

STAT: As Covid-19 intensifies, shortages of staple drugs may grow worse (Silverman, 10/21).

Washington Post: Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine trial is fully enrolled, 37 percent of participants are minorities (Johnson, 10/22).

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U.S. Signs Declaration Asserting No International Right To Abortion; LGBT Advocates Voice Concerns About Language Addressing Family

The Guardian: U.S. signs anti-abortion declaration with group of largely authoritarian governments
“The U.S. has today signed an anti-abortion declaration with a group of about 30 largely illiberal or authoritarian governments, after the failure of an effort to expand the conservative coalition. The ‘Geneva Consensus Declaration’ calls on states to promote women’s rights and health — but without access to abortion — and is part of a campaign by Trump administration, led by secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to reorient U.S. foreign policy in a more socially conservative direction, even at the expense of alienating traditional western allies. The ‘core supporters’ of the declaration are Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda, and the 27 other signatories include Belarus (where security forces are currently trying to suppress a women-led protest movement), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Libya. Most of the signatories are among the 20 worst countries to be a woman according to the Women, Peace and Security Index established by Georgetown University…” (Borger, 10/22).

Washington Post: U.S. signs international declaration challenging right to abortion and upholding ‘role of the family’
“…Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar participated in the virtual signing ceremony. The Geneva Consensus Declaration aims to promote women’s health, ‘defends the unborn and reiterates the vital importance of the family,’ Pompeo said at the ceremony. Access to abortion is widely restricted in the other countries to co-sponsor the declaration. ‘There is no international right to abortion,’ Pompeo said. Though the document does not directly address same-sex marriage, the only co-sponsors to have legalized it are Brazil and the United States, while the text’s language affirming the family as ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society’ has clear meaning for countries that restrict LGBT rights. Among the co-sponsors, the Egyptian government targets LGBT people in a ‘systemic fashion,’ according to a recent Human Rights Watch report, and in Uganda, gay sex is punishable by death…” (Berger, 10/22).

Additional coverage of the declaration is available from Axios and The Hill.

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POLITICO Launches 'Global Pulse' Newsletter To Highlight Global Health, Discusses U.S. Drawdown From Global Health Leadership

POLITICO Global Pulse: A world without America
“The New Global Health Order — The United States loves to talk about its exceptionalism in the world, but it’s not the leader in global health anymore. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic has left a leadership vacuum in global health which Europe is trying to fill — but which may benefit China. … Welcome to Global Pulse, where starting today we will be covering the new world of global health. A year ago global health was a story of progress. Much changed, fast…” (Paun, 10/22).

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U.N. SG Renews Call For Global Cease-Fire Amid Pandemic, Warns Of 'Generational Catastrophe' As Children, Education Disproportionately Impacted

AP: U.N. chief appeals for cease-fires, warns pandemic wins wars
“The United Nations chief is appealing for cease-fires in the world’s major conflicts, from Yemen and Libya to Afghanistan and Nagorno-Karabakh, warning that if fighting continues ‘the only winner is the pandemic.’ Secretary-General António Guterres said in an interview with the Associated Press that he was renewing his March 23 call for an immediate halt to all conflicts to tackle the coronavirus crisis and to spotlight the most serious global hotspots ahead of Saturday’s 75th anniversary of the entry into force of the U.N. Charter, which officially established the United Nations and is celebrated as U.N. Day…” (Lederer, 10/22).

U.N. News: Classroom crisis: Avert a ‘generational catastrophe,’ urges U.N. chief
“The world is at risk of suffering ‘a generational catastrophe’ as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the education of students globally, the U.N. chief said on Thursday. In a video message to the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Global Education Meeting (GEM), Secretary-General António Guterres reminded delegates that the pandemic had had a ‘disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized children and youth’…” (10/22).

Additional coverage of Guterres’s comments and the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks among schoolchildren is available from AP, New York Times, and VOA News.

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WHO, Wikipedia Announce Collaboration To Allow Free Use Of Health Agency's Published Information

New York Times: Wikipedia and WHO Join to Combat Covid Misinformation
“As part of efforts to stop the spread of false information about the coronavirus pandemic, Wikipedia and the World Health Organization announced a collaboration on Thursday: The health agency will grant the online encyclopedia free use of its published information, graphics, and videos. The collaboration is the first between Wikipedia and a health agency. … The agreement puts much of the WHO’s material into the Wikimedia ‘commons,’ meaning it can be reproduced or retranslated anywhere, without the need to seek permission — as long as the material is identified as coming from the WHO and a link to the original is included…” (McNeil, 10/22).

CNN examines the validity of a coronavirus origin study linked to former White House adviser Steve Bannon.

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U.K. Development Office Bans Sexual Relations Between Staff, Aid Recipients In Effort To Stop Abuse

Reuters: U.K. bans sex between government aid workers and recipients to rein in abuse
“Britain has banned sexual relations between government staff giving aid and people receiving it, as lawmakers seek to stamp out abuse in the aid sector following a string of sex scandals. Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has also banned staff exchanging money or jobs for sex, sexual relationships based on ‘inherently unequal power dynamics,’ and those between its staff and aid project partners…” (Peyton, 10/22).

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U.N.-Hosted Donor Conference Raises $600M In Pledges For Rohingya Minority Crisis

U.N. News: Rohingya conference pledges to ‘remain steadfast’ in finding solutions to crisis
“A joint U.N.-hosted donor conference to rally international support behind Myanmar’s displaced Rohingya minority ended on Thursday with a promise to continue engaging with concerned countries towards finding a long-term solution to their plight. … The co-chairs announced new pledges of around $600 million in humanitarian funding, which significantly expands the nearly $636 million in assistance already committed so far in 2020 under the Bangladesh Joint Response Plan and the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan…” (10/22).

Additional coverage of the conference is available from Devex.

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Trump Administration's Efforts To End ACA Would Threaten Trump's Vow To End U.S. AIDS Epidemic By 2030

The Guardian: How Trump success in ending Obamacare would kill Fauci plan to conquer HIV
“In his State of the Union address in February 2019, Donald Trump vowed to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. But if Trump has his way and the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the resulting seismic disruption to the healthcare system would end that dream. … The brainchild of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top brass at the Department of Health and Human Services, the ambitious Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America … [is] largely targeted at HIV transmission hotspots across the U.S. … Given antiretrovirals’ enormous cost, the ACA and its broadening of insurance access serves as backbone to the HIV plan, which seeks a 90% reduction by 2030 to the otherwise slowly declining or stagnant national HIV transmission rate of about 37,000 new cases annually…” (Ryan, 10/23).

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More COVID-19 & Global Health News

AP: Europe faces more curfews, restrictions as virus cases swell (D’Emilio et al., 10/22).

AP: Poland’s top court rules out abortions due to fetal defects (Scislowska, 10/23).

Devex: Number of U.N. women leaders grew under Guterres, with some caveats (Lieberman, 10/23).

Devex: A deeper look at DFC’s development strategy (Saldinger, 10/23).

Devex: Funding gaps hinder response to Sudan’s unprecedented floods (Jerving, 10/23).

The Guardian: Covid surge ‘very serious’ in Germany and ‘out of control’ in Spain (Beaumont, 10/22).

The Guardian: Australian women with endometriosis face six-year wait for diagnosis, study finds (Davey, 10/21).

The Hill: Columbia report: U.S. could have avoided 130,000 COVID deaths with better response (Sullivan, 10/22).

The Hill: New law in Ethiopia threatens two years in jail for failing to wear a mask (Jenkins, 10/22).

Los Angeles Times: What this West African village’s Ebola fight can teach the U.S. about COVID-19 (Baumgaertner, 10/23).

Marie Claire: Women were key to eradicating wild polio in Africa. Can they do the same for COVID? (Washington/Donovan, 10/22).

New Humanitarian: From conflict to a pandemic: Kashmir’s volunteer aid brigade (Wani, 10/19).

Reuters: Risk of inflight spread of COVID-19 ‘very low,’ not zero: WHO (Nebehay/Hepher, 10/22).

Reuters: BJP, courting votes in Bihar state, promises free COVID-19 vaccines (Nagchoudhury/Jamkhandikar, 10/22).

VOA News: Many Successes, but Difficult Challenges Ahead in Ending Polio (Pearson, 10/23).

Washington Post: The virus is on the march in much of the world. In India, it’s in retreat (Slater/Masih, 10/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Address Various Topics Related To COVID-19, Including Vaccines, Lessons From Africa's Response, Access To Data

Christian Science Monitor: The unexpected key to fighting a pandemic: Compassion
Ned Temko, correspondent for Christian Science Monitor (10/22).

The Conversation: Children may need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 too. Here’s what we need to consider
Ketaki Sharma, PhD student at the University of Sydney, and colleagues (10/22).

Devex: Opinion: COVAX and the case for multilateralism
Nikolaj Gilbert, president and chief executive officer of PATH and managing director of PATH’s Swiss subsidiary, Foundation for Appropriate Technology in Health (10/22).

The Hill: United States could learn from Africa’s coronavirus response
K. Riva Levinson, president and CEO of KRL International LLC (10/22).

New York Times: Why Can’t We See All of the Government’s Virus Data?
Christopher J.L. Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington (10/23).

STAT: Remdesivir’s hefty price tag ignores NIH investment in its creation
Ekaterina Cleary, lead data analyst and research associate at the Center for Integration of Science and Industry and adjunct professor of mathematical science at Bentley University (10/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss Various Topics Related To COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Ethics Of Risk; Prioritizing Education; Vaccine Access, Distribution

BMJ Opinion: Covid-19 and the ethics of risk
Jonathan Wolff, Alfred Landecker professor of values and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and governing body fellow at Wolfson College in Oxford, and colleagues (10/22).

Global Citizen: The Amazon’s Indigenous Communities Need Urgent Relief to Overcome COVID-19
Joe McCarthy, staff writer at Global Citizen (10/22).

India Development Review: A clarion call for child protection
Shantha Sinha, child rights activist and founder-secretary of the MV Foundation (10/21).

ONE: How Nordic leaders can help turn the tide on COVID-19 (10/22).

ONE: Why we should prioritize quality education during COVID-19
Vittoria Anelli and Andrea Mosca, ONE youth activists (10/22).

PLOS Blogs’ “Your Say”: Who Gets the Vaccine? To ensure vulnerable populations get priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine, we need better health data
Debra Winberg, postgraduate research associate at the Health Finance Institute, and colleagues (10/22).

Think Global Health: COVID-19 — A Review of Community Participation
Oluwatemilorun Adenipekun, public health lawyer and doctoral student at Wake Forest University School of Law (10/20).

Think Global Health: Human Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Oluwatemilorun Adenipekun, public health lawyer and doctoral student at Wake Forest University School of Law (10/21).

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Blog Posts Discuss Role Of Frontline Health Workers, Risks Faced

Global Health Council: Member Spotlight: Global Water 2020: Unveiling the Invisible Who Serve the Frontline of Healthcare
Hayley Schram, student researcher at the Water Institute at UNC and research assistant at Global Water 2020 (10/21).

Oxfam’s “From Poverty to Power”: Voices from the pandemic frontlines: Health worker protests and proposals from 84 countries
Jennifer Johnson, research communications consultant at the Accountability Research Center (10/20).

Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: In Sub-Saharan Africa, Community Health Workers Support Sustainable Health Systems and COVID-19 Response
Cindy Zhou, staff assistant intern with the Environmental Change and Security Program (10/22).

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Blog Post Discusses Global Food Insecurity Estimates For Coming Decade; IRC Analysis Finds Fewer Children Receiving Malnutrition Treatment In Conflict-Affected Countries

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Are we on track to end global hunger?
Matt Cooper, data science postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues (10/22).

International Rescue Committee: As COVID-19 increases global food insecurity, less children are receiving nutrition support across conflict-affected states (10/22).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Announces Nearly $200M In Additional Humanitarian Assistance For Rohingya Refugee Response; USAID Acting Administrator Provides Remarks At Donor Conference

USAID: United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance at the Donor Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response (10/22).

USAID: Acting Administrator John Barsa’s Remarks for Rohingya Donors Conference (10/22).

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CDC's MMWR Reports Discuss Namibia's Experience Adapting HIV Treatment Programs In Response To COVID-19, Zambia's First 100 Cases Of COVID-19

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Rapid Adaptation of HIV Treatment Programs in Response to COVID-19 — Namibia, 2020
Steven Y. Hong of the Division of Global HIV and TB at the CDC’s Center for Global Health and colleagues discuss Namibia’s experience coordinating its national HIV treatment program with its national COVID-19 response (10/23).

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: First 100 Persons with COVID-19 — Zambia, March 18 – April 28, 2020
Peter J. Chipimo of the Zambia National Public Health Institute and colleagues provide an update on the first 100 persons with positive COVID-19 test results in Zambia (10/23).

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From KFF

KFF Provides Analysis Of U.S. Global Funding For COVID-19, Other Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of Pandemic

KFF: U.S. Global Funding for COVID-19 by Country and Region
This analysis examines the status of U.S. global COVID-19 country, regional, and worldwide funding to assess how much has been committed to date and where it has been directed (Moss et al., 10/23).

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of October 23, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (10/23).

Additional KFF COVID-19 resources on the global situation, as well as those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here.

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KFF Updates U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker

KFF: U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker
KFF updated its U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker, which provides a listing of global health-related legislation being considered by the 116th Congress. Currently, there are almost 100 pieces of legislation related to global health. They address topics ranging from global health security to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and reproductive health. Sometimes a bill may address broader topics, but this tracker focuses on the global health aspects of the legislation (10/22).

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