Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Advocates Discuss Lack Of Hard Timeline In Clinton's HIV/AIDS Plan; Development Experts Discuss Potential U.S. Aid Agenda Under Possible Clinton Presidency
The Advocate: Here’s What Was Missing From Hillary’s HIV Plan
“Hillary Clinton has an updated plan to end the AIDS epidemic both nationally and internationally. The plan, released Monday, included many applause-worthy commitments to achieve this end, which will go into motion if Clinton becomes president. … Yet Clinton’s plan is missing a key element: a hard timeline to end the epidemic. … But rather than announcing a timeline at this point Clinton, in the plan’s first bullet point, committed to assembling an End the Epidemic task force that would be charged with setting these goals at a future date…” (Reynolds, 8/3).
Devex: What would Hillary Clinton’s U.S. aid agenda look like?
“…Devex spoke with aid officials and experts at last month’s White House Summit on Global Development and attended the convention in Philadelphia. More than a dozen development professionals, Clinton supporters, advisers, and skeptics shared their expectations, hopes, and anxieties about what Hillary Clinton’s U.S. aid agenda might look like if she becomes the next president. Some, particularly those with ties to Clinton’s campaign, shared views on background in order to speak candidly…” (Igoe, 8/3).
- Sens. Rubio, Kaine Call On Congress To Return To D.C. To Pass Zika Funding Legislation; HHS Says Current Funding To Be Depleted By End Of September
The Hill: Rubio calls for lawmakers to return to D.C., pass Zika funding
“Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is calling for lawmakers [to] stop their seven-week summer recess to return to Washington and pass legislation to fight the Zika virus…” (Carney, 8/3).
New York Times: Tim Kaine, Straddling Dual Roles, Calls for Congress to Provide Zika Funding
“Tim Kaine’s dual jobs, Democratic senator from Virginia and vice-presidential candidate, collided on Tuesday during a visit to Florida, when he called on Republicans to bring the Senate back into session to deal with the Zika threat given the outbreak in the state’s south…” (Hulse, 8/3).
POLITICO: Rubio: Trump ‘hopefully’ will pay attention to Zika
“Sen. Marco Rubio called on both political parties in Washington to do more to fight the Zika virus, but he was almost mum Wednesday when asked about why his party’s presidential nominee has essentially said nothing about the disease now that it’s spreading in Miami and throughout Florida…” (Caputo, 8/3).
Roll Call: Zika Funding Gone by the End of September, HHS Says
“The Obama administration on Wednesday pushed back against congressional criticism that available funding to combat the Zika virus is not being spent fast enough, claiming all the money on hand for domestic Zika efforts will be exhausted by the end of September. In a letter to senior health and foreign appropriators in both chambers, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of Health and Human Services, provided further details of how the department is spending its share of the $589 million that the administration reprogrammed in April to fight Zika…” (McCrimmon, 8/3).
- NIH Begins First Clinical Trial Of Experimental Zika Vaccine
CNN: Human trials begin for Zika vaccines
“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has injected two human volunteers with an experimental DNA-based Zika vaccine, Director Anthony Fauci announced [Wednesday], a month ahead of its projected schedule for vaccine development…” (LaMotte, 8/3).
Reuters: U.S. health researchers test Zika vaccine as funds run low
“U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday they have begun their first clinical trial of a Zika vaccine while the Obama administration told lawmakers funds to fight the virus would run out in the coming weeks due to congressional inaction…” (Dunham, 8/3).
USA TODAY: National Institutes of Health launches first clinical trial of Zika vaccine
“…The NIH study began Tuesday, when the first volunteer was vaccinated. The vaccine will be tested in 80 healthy volunteers, ages 18 to 35, at three locations: the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.; Emory University in Atlanta; and the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Fauci said…” (Szabo, 8/3).
Washington Post: NIH to begin testing Zika vaccine in humans
“…The main goal of the study will be to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and to see whether it generates an immune-system response in patients. If those early results are positive, researchers hope to began a larger-scale trial in Zika-affected countries in early 2017…” (Dennis, 8/3).
- Honduras Reports Suspected Zika-Linked Deaths, Birth Defects; Cuba Reports 2 New Locally Acquired Cases
Agence France-Presse: Zika suspected in 6 deaths in Honduras
“Six people have died and 10 babies have been born with defects in Honduras in cases feared to have been caused by Zika, the health minister said Tuesday. Tests were being carried out to confirm whether the cases were the result of the virus, which is most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes and, more rarely, through sexual contact…” (8/2).
Reuters: Cuba reports two cases of Zika contracted locally
“Cuba reported on Wednesday two new cases of residents contracting the mosquito-borne Zika virus locally, in a setback for the Caribbean country that has taken a series of measures in an attempt to stave off the epidemic. … ‘Last Aug. 1, two new locally contracted cases of the Zika virus were diagnosed, corresponding to residents in the city of Holguin who had not traveled abroad, which brings the total up to three,’ the health ministry said in a statement published by state media…” (Marsh, 8/3).
- PolitiFact Examines Trade Deals' Potential Impacts On Indian Generic Drug Manufacturers, Access To Medicines
PolitiFact: Do trade deals threaten India as low-cost HIV drug maker?
“…Doctors Without Borders said that trade deals threaten the capacity of Indian generic drug makers to produce the next round of HIV drugs. We found that trade negotiations, whether part of large regional trade agreements or unilateral discussions between the United States and India, have language that work against India generic drug makers. … Our experts disagreed on whether this would reduce access to critical drugs. The trade deals do no favors for India’s generic drug makers. With a caveat about future access to drugs, we rate this claim Mostly True” (Greenberg, 8/3).
- The Atlantic Examines Challenges To Preventing, Treating TB
The Atlantic: The Danger of Ignoring Tuberculosis
“…[I]n the United States, where tuberculosis has been on the decline since 1992, there’s a vague perception that it is a historic disease — long since cured and largely forgotten. That is not the case. Tuberculosis remains a major killer. As antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease spread across the globe, it’s getting harder to wipe out. In the next three decades, drug-resistant strains of the bacteria could drive up tuberculosis deaths by 2.4 million per year — to some four million fatalities annually — according to a report published last year by the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance…” (LaFrance, 8/3).
- Farmers In Ebola-Hit West African Nations Need Assistance, International Fund For Agricultural Development Says
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Ebola after-effects threaten food shortages in West Africa: U.N.
“Farmers in West Africa still reeling from the impact of Ebola, urgently need help or they could be forced to leave their farms to seek work elsewhere, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on Wednesday…” (Whiting, 8/3).
- Thawing Permafrost Enables Anthrax Outbreak In Remote Siberian Region
NPR: Anthrax Outbreak In Russia Thought To Be Result Of Thawing Permafrost
“Russia is fighting a mysterious anthrax outbreak in a remote corner of Siberia. Dozens of people are hospitalized; one child has died. The government airlifted some families out because more than 2,000 reindeer have been infected…” (Doucleff, 8/3).
Scientific American: “Zombie” Anthrax Goes on a Killing Spree in Siberia — How?
“…The anthrax currently infecting reindeer and people in western Siberia likely came from the carcass of a reindeer that died in an anthrax outbreak 75 years ago and has been frozen ever since — until an unusually warm summer thawed permafrost across the region this year, according to local officials…” (Pappas, 8/3).
Washington Post: Anthrax spreads from reindeer to humans in an outbreak at the ‘end of the world’
“…For most of the year, [the region] is frigid. Since July, however, something unusual has been afoot in Yamal: Temperatures have soared, reaching 95 degrees. In the ensuing thaw, the once-frozen carcasses of reindeer have attracted bacteria, including one that causes anthrax. So, for the first time since 1941, there is an anthrax outbreak…” (Bearak, 8/2).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Zika Response, Call On Congress To Act
USA TODAY: Zika hits home while Congress fiddles: Column
Michele Barry, director, and Katherine States Burke, deputy director, both of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University
“…As this [Zika] crisis unfolds, where is Congress? On vacation. … On this important health matter, Congress has failed us. Its political concerns pale beside the prospect of hundreds of babies born with severe birth defects … In addition, absent the public health campaign that the [Zika] bill would have funded, media and social networks will no doubt ignite outsized public fears, as we saw with the Ebola threat. … Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have called for the House and Senate to return to Washington and reconvene on an urgent basis to provide the Zika funding. Republican leadership should join the effort. Funding the battle against Zika is imperative, and the American people are watching and waiting” (8/2).
Forbes: Confronting The Growing Risk From Zika
Scott Gottlieb, physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
“…Putting in place the infrastructure to thwart Zika and similar mosquito-born risks … should encompass five principles. First, better diagnostics to rapidly and accurately detect new infections; second, programs to collect and test mosquitoes to identify emerging outbreaks early; next vigilant mosquito abatement, and common sense consumer precautions; and finally, a rejection of the impulse to magnify and misrepresent these events for political gain, which can — over time — dull public interest by conflating real and amplified risks. … We should not have to treat our response to each outbreak as a new disaster, and lurch from one crisis to the next. … We can’t afford to play catch-up every time a new infection appears. The policy and infrastructure should already be in place” (8/4).
The Hill: Doctors to Congress: Stop politics and fund Zika outbreak
Mary E. Norton, president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
“…[T]he response by the government [to the Zika virus] at home and abroad is essential to ensure that Americans are protected and that this devastating disease is eradicated before more babies are impacted. … It is critical that the U.S. fund efforts to eradicate this virus. … It is far more effective for Congress to support infectious disease surveillance and research broadly through consistent annual appropriations, and to avert these urgent and unpredictable situations in the future. Given the potential for rapid global transmission of the Zika virus, it is imperative that the U.S. act quickly and that leaders on each side of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol come together immediately when they return in September to hash out a deal for funding to combat Zika. Funding research and public health surveillance now will help to save dollars as well as lives” (8/3).
- USAID Continues To Use Data-Driven Decision-Making To Achieve Development Goals
Devex: Data vs. mosquitoes
Ann Mei Chang, chief innovation officer at USAID and executive director of the U.S. Global Development Lab
“…We have a big opportunity in global development right now. Thanks in part to game-changing advances in information and communications technology, we have better data and tools to analyze development programs, projects, and outcomes than ever before. That means we can make better decisions that result in more effective programs and better results for communities around the world. That’s why one of the principles for digital development is, ‘Be data-driven.’ But it’s not simple: We need to not only collect data, but also analyze it and adapt our interventions as a result. It takes a sustained effort to build interoperable data systems, cross-validate data sources, and analyze outcomes. But the rewards are worth it…” (8/3).
Devex: What USAID has learned from its public-private partnership data
Winnette Richards, research and data associate with the Center for Transformational Partnerships in USAID’s Global Development Lab, and Lisa Liu, program analyst with the U.S. Global Development Lab’s Center for Transformational Partnerships
“At the U.S. Agency for International Development, we are committed to a data-driven and evidence-based approach to development. Data plays a critical role in understanding our development impact, adapting our strategies, and communicating our results. But with limited time, resources, and technology, the process of identifying and collecting the right data — and making sure that data … is accurate, relevant, and useful — can be extremely challenging. … Data is more than just numbers — it’s the beginning of a dialogue. … USAID’s [public-private partnership (PPP)] data has been critical to telling our story … As a data-driven organization committed to leveraging data and evidence to drive decision-making, USAID strives to use this PPP data to reflect on our offerings and build an evidence base for better understanding how to enhance private sector engagement to achieve our development goals” (8/3).
- Immigration Policies Could Impact Americans' Health
The Hill: A terrifying medical threat that bears on this election
Reed Wilson, CEO of Private Practice Doctors, LLC
“As a doctor, it has been incredible to see the eradication or minimization of so many infectious diseases over the course of my lifetime. Unfortunately, some of those diseases are being re-introduced to America through our immigration system. I worry this will jeopardize the health and well-being of the American people in the years ahead. … [L]ost in the arguments for and against immigration is the threat that [tuberculosis (TB)] and other ‘controlled’ diseases pose … The number one job of our government is to protect our citizens from threats foreign and domestic. The health of United States is at risk. As a physician, I am concerned for my patients. As an American, I am concerned for my country” (8/3).
- TPP Would Result In Increased Drug Prices In Developing Countries
The Hill: TPP would make medicine a luxury for developing nations
Nicholas Archer, contributor to Economics21 and student at Hillsdale College
“…The [Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)] agreement offers many benefits, but contains several troubling provisions, including one that would force member countries to implement strong monopoly protections for newly introduced biologics. … In the case of biologics, the most visible cost of intellectual property protections are the increased prices. … It is … difficult to imagine that countries such as Malaysia will see large improvements in their biologic industry if they adopt more stringent IP protections. … There may be a defensible argument that strengthening the U.S. biologics industry is more important than providing cheaper medication to Malaysians. But using economic power to force other nations to adopt policies that conform to this opinion is unacceptable. … [I]f other nations are forced to follow America’s dictates, many people will be denied life-saving medicine. The TPP cannot be amended before it comes to a vote. But there is hope to amend this provision in the future, and to keep such protectionism out of the American agenda in other trade agreements that will surely follow” (8/3).
- Breastfeeding Essential To Newborn Health, Achieving SDGs
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Breastfeeding, the best start to life
Toyin Saraki, founder-president of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and Global Goodwill Ambassador of the International Midwives Confederation
“…Breast milk is vital in strengthening the baby’s immune system and protecting it from invading germs, viruses, and infections … To increase the survival rates of newborns breastfeeding is an essential practice. … This week, as we mark Global Breastfeeding Week, we should all recognize the great benefits of breastfeeding in successfully achieving two key global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG5, good health and wellbeing for all, and SDG1, reducing poverty. [The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA)] remains dedicated in helping Nigeria and all African countries in reaching these developmental goals and ensuring that every child and every life matters” (8/3).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Kaiser Family Foundation/CSIS Event Webcast Features Expert Panel Discussing AIDS 2016 Outcomes
Kaiser Family Foundation: August 3 Event: Outcomes from the Durban International AIDS Conference
“On August 3, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a briefing to assess the major outcomes of the 2016 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), held from July 18-22 in Durban, South Africa. The discussion touched on the latest scientific advancements, the current funding climate for HIV response, and other developments and contributions to the field emerging from the conference. Panelists included Chris Beyrer, immediate past president of the International AIDS Society; Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator; and Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and director of global health and HIV policy. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS, moderated the panel discussion” (8/3).
- Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheets On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health, U.S. Role In NCD Efforts
Kaiser Family Foundation: Key U.S. Government Agency Positions and Officials in Global Health Policy & Related Areas
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (8/2).
Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Non-Communicable Disease Efforts
This updated fact sheet discusses U.S. government global non-communicable diseases (NCDs) efforts and funding, global statistics related to NCDs, and international goals to address NCDs (8/2).
- Blog Posts Discuss U.S.-Sponsored Zika Vaccine Trial, Importance Of Health Systems Strengthening In Outbreak Response
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: While “August is the new September” in accelerated Zika vaccine quest, funding gap could slow momentum, Fauci says
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses the launch of a Zika candidate vaccine clinical trial, writing, “The Aug. 1 start puts the phase one clinical trial a month ahead of schedule, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [D]irector [Anthony Fauci] said. But, he added that a continued lack of dedicated funding for Zika research will slow necessary ground work for testing the candidate further in Zika-endemic countries…” (8/3).
U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Colombia Shows We Can Fight Zika — If We Have the Resources
David Stein, policy associate at USGLC, discusses the importance of U.S. collaboration with developing countries to improve their health care systems. He writes, “The success achieved in Colombia [in declaring an end to its Zika epidemic] — and the threat posed by Zika to the U.S. — highlights the importance of the president’s emergency supplemental funding request to combat Zika, currently awaiting the return of members of Congress from their summer recess. … In other words, helping developing countries strengthen their own internal health systems is not only the right thing to do; it is also the smart thing to do for America’s health security” (8/3).