KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- U.S. Allies, China, Health Experts Criticize Trump Administration's Withdrawal From WHO; House Republicans Renew Call For DG To Testify
AP: Criticism of U.S. pullout from WHO from allies, China alike
“Top U.S. allies on Wednesday denounced the planned pullout of the United States from the World Health Organization, with the Italian health minister calling it ‘wrong’ and a political ally of Germany’s chancellor warning that the withdrawal could make more room on the world stage for China. … Critics insist the pullout also will have a negative impact on the U.S. from losing both a voice and an ear in some of the world’s top conversations on healthcare. … China also criticized the U.S. withdrawal…” (Keaten et al., 7/8).
Fox News: House Republicans renew calls for WHO chief to testify, accuse him of endorsing Chinese propaganda efforts
“House Republicans on Wednesday wrote to the head of the World Health Organization, renewing their calls for him to testify before Congress over its response to the coronavirus crisis, and accused him of endorsing Chinese propaganda efforts. ‘Until you appear under oath, America and the world will not know the origins of this crisis,’ said the letter from Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus…” (Shaw, 7/8).
The Hill: Pompeo: State Department ‘will work with Congress’ on pledged funding to WHO
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that his department ‘will work with Congress’ in regards to the delivery of U.S. funds earmarked for the World Health Organization (WHO), as the Trump administration begins the formal process of withdrawing from the global health body. The U.S. owes an estimated $203 million as part of its assessed contributions to the WHO for its two-year operating budget. The amount also includes funds that have yet to be paid for the 2019 operating year…” (Kelly, 7/8).
The Telegraph: U.S. withdrawal from WHO could trigger a wider exodus, health experts fear
“There are growing fears that the United States’ decision to break ties with the World Health Organization could trigger a wider exodus and undermine global collaboration beyond the current coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration formally notified the United Nations that it will pull out from the WHO on Tuesday, prompting widespread condemnation from experts who warned that the move marks the ‘end of an era of United States global health leadership.’ But there are also concerns that the decision could spur other governments whose leaders are aligned with Donald Trump’s populist politics, such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, to quit the organization…” (Newey, 7/8).
- Devex Interactive Tracks Funding Commitments For COVID-19 Response
Devex: Interactive: Who’s funding the COVID-19 response and what are the priorities?
“As we enter the second half of 2020, the need for financial support to respond to and recover from the impact of COVID-19 continues, with almost $20.3 trillion committed, according to an analysis of funding data available through Devex. … Announcements have been tracked between Jan. 1 and July 5, with the data showing how donors are converting these commitments to announcements through awarded contracts, grants, new programs, tenders, and open funding opportunities. For many donors, this is still a work in progress…” (Cornish, 7/5).
- U.N. News Reports On COVID-19 Recovery Efforts; Trafficking Of Substandard, Fake Products Related To Pandemic; Reissue Of Bob Marley's 'One Love' To Help Children
U.N. News: U.N. chief highlights need for decent jobs to fuel COVID-19 recovery
“More than 50 Heads of State and government, alongside global employers’ and trade union leaders, have been taking part in an online discussion on Wednesday looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work. The Global Summit is part of a five-day virtual event organized this month by the International Labour Organization (ILO), to examine issues that include countering the economic and social impact of the crisis. In a video message, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told leaders that they are essential to global efforts to ‘build back better’ after the pandemic…” (7/8).
U.N. News: Illegal trade in fake or faulty COVID-19 products booming, new U.N. research reveals
“A surge in demand for medical products to combat COVID-19 has led to a jump in the trafficking of substandard and faulty merchandise, according to new U.N. research published on Wednesday…” (7/8).
U.N. News: Identify and address ‘real needs’ to recover from COVID-19, U.N. rights expert urges
“There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in ‘a serious setback’ for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an independent U.N. human rights expert said on Wednesday, urging a high-level meeting to ‘take a hard look’ at implementation efforts to live up to the promise to leave no one behind…” (7/8).
U.N. News: Reggae classic ‘One Love’ re-issued to help children upended by COVID crisis
“The iconic Bob Marley song One Love is to be re-released with the blessing of the musician’s family to support children whose lives have been upended by COVID-19, the U.N. said on Thursday…” (7/8).
- News Outlets Examine Efforts To Develop Vaccines, Treatments For COVID-19; U.S. Government Launches Website For Volunteer Registration
AP: ‘Desperation science’ slows the hunt for coronavirus drugs
“Desperate to solve the deadly conundrum of COVID-19, the world is clamoring for fast answers and solutions from a research system not built for haste…” (Marchione, 7/8).
CNBC: In race to bring vaccine to market, big pharma struggles to protect its intellectual property rights
“As the race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus speeds up, the pharmaceutical industry is being careful to not set any dangerous precedent that may weaken their future intellectual property rights, a senior executive at IHS Markit said Thursday…” (Choudhury, 7/9).
New York Times: U.S. Weighs Early Vaccine Access for Minorities and Others at Risk
“Federal health officials are already trying to decide who will get the first doses of any effective coronavirus vaccines, which could be on the market this winter but could require many additional months to become widely available to Americans…” (Twohey, 7/9).
NPR: Indian Company Starts Mass-Producing Coronavirus Vaccines Before Trials
“An Indian vaccine company has started mass production of four coronavirus vaccines before clinical trials. If one of the formulas proves effective, India will have hundreds of millions of doses ready…” (Frayer, 7/8).
Reuters: Potential COVID-19 vaccine not ‘single solution’ to pandemic, Johnson & Johnson CEO says
“U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson aims to begin clinical testing of its COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks and produce billions of doses in 2021, chief executive officer Alex Gorsky said on Wednesday, but cautioned that it will take more than one vaccine to rein in the virus…” (O’Donnell, 7/8).
USA TODAY: Could a coronavirus vaccine rehab the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation despite drug price increases?
“For years, the pharmaceutical industry has faced withering bipartisan criticism and a deteriorating reputation among the public for its role in driving up drug prices. But the sector suddenly might be poised to go from villain to hero with the development of a vaccine that could end the COVID-19 pandemic…” (Bomey, 7/8).
Washington Post: Volunteers can now sign up for large coronavirus vaccine studies
“A network of more than 100 clinical trial sites at hospitals and medical clinics in the United States and across the world will take on the unprecedented challenge of testing covid-19 vaccines and other preventive treatments, federal officials announced Wednesday. The Covid-19 Prevention Network, which knits together the existing federal clinical trial infrastructure developed largely to test HIV vaccines and treatments, launched with a website for volunteers to sign up to be considered when the first trials begin later this month…” (Johnson, 7/8).
- COVID-19 Spread In Africa Reaching 'Full Speed'; Cases In Philippines Pass 50K; Millions Of Yemeni Children Face Starvation Amid Pandemic; Canada PM Touts Country's Response; Birx Urges Some U.S. States To Return To Phase 1
AP: COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’ (Anna, 7/9).
CNN: Africa’s battle against Covid-19 will be won or lost here (McKenzie/Swails, 7/6).
Pulitzer Center: COVID’s Darkest Effects: How the Pandemic May Fuel Child Trafficking in Ghana (Leadholm, 7/8).
AP: Philippines virus cases soar past 50,000 as lockdown eases (Gomez/Favila, 7/8).
Bloomberg: Beijing Just Reported No Cases. Here’s How They Turned It Around (7/7).
Reuters: Japan supercomputer suggests changes to travel, work amid airborne virus threat (Swift, 7/8).
The Telegraph: How a tiny and impoverished Pacific island beat the coronavirus (Mulyanto/Smith, 7/9).
MedPage Today: Has Italy Beaten COVID-19? (Fiore, 7/7).
CNN: How Uruguay is avoiding the Covid-19 spread plaguing Latin America (Oppman, 7/6).
AP: Virus projects renew questions about UAE’s mass surveillance (Gambrell, 7/9).
Fox News: Millions of Yemen’s children face starvation as coronavirus outbreak worsens, UNICEF warns (Yingst, 7/8).
CIDRAP News: With single-day case record, U.S. COVID-19 total tops 3 million (Soucheray, 7/8).
CNN: Birx’s nod to mask fashion is more than just sartorial (Bennett, 7/8).
Globe and Mail: Poll finds 81% of Canadians say the Canada-U.S. border should remain closed (Dickson, 7/6).
New York Times: Pandemic Plunges Puerto Rico Into Yet Another Dire Emergency (Rosa/Robles, 7/8).
POLITICO: Pence touts progress in Covid-19 hot spots amid a surge of cases (Ehley/Lim, 7/8).
Reuters: Canada handled the coronavirus outbreak better than United States, PM Trudeau says (Ljunggren, 7/8).
STAT: A flawed Covid-19 study gets the White House’s attention — and the FDA may pay the price (Herper, 7/8).
Washington Post: Birx urges ‘red zone states’ to revert to Phase 1 guidelines for gatherings (7/8).
- Pandemic Could Push 122M People Deeper Into Hunger, Poverty, Oxfam Report Warns
The Telegraph: Covid-19 could kill more people through hunger than the virus itself, warns Oxfam
“More people will die of hunger caused by the pandemic than of coronavirus this year, according to a report from Oxfam. An estimated 122 million of the world’s poorest people could be plunged deeper into hunger and poverty, equating to 12,000 extra deaths a day, the charity said. The global mortality rate for Covid-19 reached a peak at 10,000 deaths per day in April…” (Barber, 7/9).
- WHO Confirms 'Emerging Evidence' Novel Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Airborne Droplets
CNN: WHO confirms there’s ’emerging evidence’ of airborne transmission of coronavirus
“The World Health Organization confirmed there is ’emerging evidence’ of airborne transmission of the coronavirus following the publication of a letter Monday signed by 239 scientists that urged the agency to be more forthcoming about the likelihood that people can catch the virus from droplets floating in the air. Dr. Benedetta Alleganzi, WHO Technical Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, said during a briefing Tuesday, that the agency has discussed and collaborated with many of the scientists who signed the letter. … Alleganzi emphasized more research is still needed on Covid-19 transmission…” (Erdman, 7/8).
- Bolsonaro Touts Unproven Hydroxychloroquine To Treat His COVID-19 Infection; Group Of Journalists To Sue Brazilian President For Taking Off Mask During Interview
AP: Bolsonaro now ‘poster boy’ for dubious COVID-19 treatment
“After months of touting an unproven anti-malaria drug as a treatment for the new coronavirus, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is turning himself into a test case live before millions of people as he swallows hydroxychloroquine pills on social media and encourages others to do the same. Bolsonaro said this week that he tested positive for the virus but already felt better thanks to hydroxychloroquine. Hours later he shared a video of himself gulping down what he said was his third dose. ‘I trust hydroxychloroquine,’ he said, smiling. ‘And you?’ On Wednesday, he was again extolling the drug’s benefits on Facebook, and claimed that his political opponents were rooting against it…” (Biller et al., 7/9).
NPR: Brazil’s Bolsonaro Sued For Unmasking As He Announced Positive Test For COVID-19
“A group representing Brazilian journalists says it will file suit against the country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, after he took off a protective mask as he spoke with reporters about his COVID-19 diagnosis. The Brazilian Press Association, or ABI, said in a statement that Bolsonaro had unnecessarily endangered a small group of journalists who interviewed him at his official residence. At one point during the interview on Tuesday, Bolsonaro, who is 65, backed away from reporters and then removed his mask, ostensibly to show that he was doing well…” (Neuman, 7/8).
- HIV Funding Declining; Devex Interviews amfAR Vice President About HIV/AIDS Disparities; Religious Leaders In Kenya Aim To Reduce Stigma; Other News From AIDS 2020 Conference
Devex: HIV funding is dwindling. Who will fill the gap?
“The world is off-track not just on HIV targets, but also on HIV financing. As the novel coronavirus continues to squeeze government budgets, experts note there are more questions and uncertainties on the future of HIV funding. HIV funding declined in 2019, with donor government disbursements at $7.8 billion, according to the latest report by the Kaiser Family Foundation published this week during AIDS 2020. … Jen Kates, senior vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at KFF, told Devex in an email that before COVID-19 there were hopes that low- and middle-income countries could increase their HIV financing, and that several countries have done so, while external funding continues to play a role. But COVID-19 has thrown off course these calculations…” (Ravelo, 7/8).
Devex: Q&A: Attack inequities to beat HIV/AIDS, amfAR vice president says (Cheney, 7/9).
Devex: Kenya’s faith leaders preach knowledge about HIV (Igoe, 7/9).
The Economist: This year’s AIDS conference has brought snippets of good news (7/8).
- U.S. National Science Foundation Releases Details On Foreign-Influence Investigations Of Researchers
Nature: Exclusive: U.S. National Science Foundation reveals first details on foreign-influence investigations
“The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has for the first time released figures on the actions it has taken against researchers found to have violated rules on the disclosure of foreign ties. Since 2018, the agency has reassigned, suspended, or terminated grants, forced institutions to return funds, or barred researchers from applying for future funding in 16-20 cases in which rules weren’t followed, according to Rebecca Keiser, the agency’s first chief of research security strategy and policy…” (Silver, 7/7).
- U.N. Security Council Rejects Russian Resolution That Would Have Limited Humanitarian Aid Delivery To Syria
AP: U.N. Council rejects Russia bid to limit Syrian aid deliveries
“The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a Russian resolution that would have cut back the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria’s mainly rebel-held northwest to just one crossing point from Turkey. Western countries that voted against the resolution have insisted on keeping the two current crossings from Turkey, with strong backing from U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and humanitarian groups. U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock has called the two crossings from Turkey ‘a lifeline for millions of civilians whom the U.N. cannot reach by other means.’ … Russia has argued that aid should be delivered from within Syria across conflict lines. But the U.N. and humanitarian groups say aid for 2.8 million needy people in the northwest can’t get in that way…” (Lederer, 7/9).
- More News In Global Health
Devex: Interactive: Investigating DFID and FCO funding priorities (Cornish, 7/8).
Fortune: Fortune bestows leadership award on Vaccine Alliance CEO Seth Berkley (Hackett, 7/8).
The Guardian: Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms (Sample, 7/8).
New York Times: 8 Questions From a Disease Detective on the Pandemic’s Origins (Broad, 7/8).
New York Times: Study of 17 Million Identifies Crucial Risk Factors for Coronavirus Deaths (Wu, 7/8).
U.N. News: Rising global temperature shows ‘enormous challenge’ of meeting climate goal (7/8).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Discuss Potential Impact Of U.S. Withdrawal From WHO On Global Health, Security
The Conversation: Lives at ‘grave risk’: Trump’s withdrawal from the WHO is a hit to global health
Adam Kamradt-Scott, associate professor at the University of Sydney (7/8).
The Lancet: U.S. withdrawal from WHO is unlawful and threatens global and U.S. health and security
Lawrence O. Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and founding O’Neill chair in Global Health Law, and colleagues (7/9).
- Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Response, Including Vaccines, Racial Disparities
The Atlantic: These 8 Basic Steps Will Let Us Reopen Schools
Thomas R. Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives; Arne Duncan, former U.S. secretary of education and former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools; and Margaret Spellings, president and CEO of Texas 2036 (7/9).
Bloomberg: Covid-19 Exposes America’s Racial Disparities
Editorial Board (7/8).
CNN: Even without a Covid-19 vaccine, there’s reason for hope
William Haseltine, chair and president of ACCESS Health International (7/8).
Devex: Turning the tide in development — an inclusive response to COVID-19
Mireille Evagora-Campbell, researcher at Global Health 50/50, and Zahra Zeinali, medical doctor, researcher with Global Health 50/50, and fellow with the Rockefeller Foundation-Boston University 3-D Commission on Determinants of Health, Data, and Decision-making (7/9).
Devex: COVID-19 in rural communities — building back better in the global south
Peter Williams, president of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (7/8).
The Hill: A renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government
David Isaacs, vice president of government affairs at the Semiconductor Industry Association, and Kathleen Kingscott, vice president of strategic partnerships at IBM Research, both members of the Task Force on American Innovation (7/8).
IPS: The Quiet Survivors of a Global Pandemic
Saima W. Hossain, adviser to the director general of WHO on autism and mental health, member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health, chair of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and NDDs in Bangladesh, and chair of Shuchona Foundation (7/8).
New York Times: A Coronavirus Vaccine Won’t Work if People Don’t Take It
Phoebe Danziger, pediatrician at the University of Michigan and co-founder of Health Insight Lab (7/9).
Washington Post: If we want to beat covid-19, we need to get a lot better at vaccinating people
Anupam B. Jena, economist and physician; Ruth L. Newhouse, associate professor at Harvard Medical School; and Christopher M. Worsham, pulmonologist and critical care physician at Harvard Medical School (7/9).
Washington Post: Americans are the dangerous, disease-carrying foreigners now
Erika Lee, author and director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota (7/8).
- Opinion Pieces Address Impact Of HIV/AIDS On Black Community; Access To Care For People Living With HIV; Lessons From, Politics Of HIV Mortality Data; Progress On, Challenges To Ending Global HIV Epidemic
The Atlantic: We Can’t End AIDS Without Fighting Racism
Elton John, musician and author (7/9).
Devex: Ensuring services for people with advanced HIV disease — more important than ever
Laura N. Broyles, director of programs at the Global Health Impact Group; Debi Boeras, chief executive officer at the Global Health Impact Group; and Renuka Gadde, vice president for global health at BD (7/3).
The Lancet: Reckoning with mortality: global health, HIV, and the politics of data
Matthew M. Kavanagh, visiting professor of law, assistant professor of global health, and director of the Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative at Georgetown University; Ingrid T. Katz of the Harvard Global Health Institute and Harvard Medical School; and Charles B. Holmes of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (7/3).
NEJM: Four Decades of HIV/AIDS — Much Accomplished, Much to Do
Anthony S. Fauci, director, and H. Clifford Lane, deputy director for clinical research and special projects, both at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (7/2).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Analysis, Statements Address U.S. WHO Withdrawal
Guttmacher Institute: The United States’ Withdrawal from WHO Is a Shortsighted Tantrum with Lasting Consequences for Sexual and Reproductive Health
Zara Ahmed, associate director of federal Issues at Guttmacher (7/8).
International Rescue Committee: IRC Statement Regarding the United States’ Withdrawal from World Health Organization (7/8).
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders: U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization would be dangerous and self-defeating (7/8).
O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center: Letter to Congress on WHO Withdrawal from Public Health, Law and International Relations Leaders (6/30).
- Blogs, Releases, Video Address Various Issues Related To COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Responses In Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Vaccine Development
BMJ Opinion: Covid-19 will end but doctors will keep dying: supporting physicians’ mental health after the pandemic
Trisha Pasricha, gastroenterology fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital and filmmaker (7/8).
Brookings: Learning from the best: Evaluating Africa’s COVID-19 responses
Youssef Travaly, vice president of the AIMS-NEI Global Network — Next Einstein Forum, and Aretha Mare, research officer — Next Einstein Forum (7/8).
Center for Global Development: Dexamethasone for Severe and Critical COVID-19 Patients: Is It Suitable for Low-Resource Settings?
Hiral Shah, senior policy analyst at CGD, and colleagues (7/8).
CSIS: Parallel Epidemics: Covid-19 and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa (7/7).
Fred Hutch: Fred Hutch joins international COVID-19 vaccine effort (7/8).
- FCAA Executive Director Discusses HIV/AIDS Funding, Role Of Private Philanthropy
Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA): New Data Highlights Concerns in HIV/AIDS Funding
John Barnes, executive director of FCAA, discusses the new report from KFF and UNAIDS analyzing donor government funding for HIV/AIDS and the implications of the findings for the global HIV/AIDS epidemic amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the role of private philanthropy (7/8).
- EGPAF Releases Report Urging Action To Improve Youth-Focused HIV Efforts
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation: AIDS-Free Generation Z
This new report from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) urges action for improving youth-focused HIV programming (7/8).
From the U.S. Government
- White House Releases Transcript Of Latest Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing
White House: Press Briefing by Vice President Pence and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force | July 8, 2020
The White House released the transcript of the most recent press briefing by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Coronavirus Task Force (7/8).
- KFF Releases New Analysis At AIDS 2020 Quantifying PEPFAR's Role For Women
KFF: Quantifying PEPFAR’s Role for Women and Girls: Analysis of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting Indicator Data, 2016-2019
Women and girls represent more than half of all people living with HIV worldwide, and HIV is the leading cause of death among women aged 15-49. Many factors contribute to women’s risk for HIV including gender inequality, gender-based violence, and lack of access to education and other social protection programs. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) plays an important role in addressing HIV among women and girls. However, to date, program data have not been fully analyzed in this area. This analysis, released at AIDS 2020, sought to quantify PEPFAR’s role for women and girls in key program areas, analyzing data over time as well as by country, to better understand the extent of its reach (Kates/Moss, 7/8).
- KFF, UNAIDS Release Annual Analysis Of Donor Government Funding For Global HIV
KFF: KFF/UNAIDS Analysis Finds Donor Governments Spent US$7.8 Billion for HIV in 2019, Down Almost $200 Million From the Previous Year
“A new report from KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) finds donor government disbursements to combat HIV in low- and middle-income countries totaled US$7.8 billion in 2019, a reduction from the US$8 billion in 2018 and nearly the same as the funding levels of a decade ago. Half of the 14 donor governments analyzed in the study decreased their spending on global HIV efforts from 2018 to 2019; six increased; and one held steady. Donor government funding supports HIV care and treatment, prevention, and other services in low- and middle-income countries…” (7/6).
- KFF Fact Sheet On U.S. Government, World Health Organization Available
KFF: The U.S. Government and the World Health Organization
This fact sheet provides information about the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. government funding and engagement with WHO. In April, the White House first announced it would be suspending financial support for WHO pending a review of the organization’s activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Assessed contributions from the U.S. to the WHO have ranged from $107 to $119 million over the last decade. The U.S. also has made additional voluntary contributions, ranging from $102 to $401 million per year (4/16).
- KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of July 9, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/9).
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. KFF’s blog series “Coronavirus Policy Watch” is available here.