KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Media Outlets Examine Global Health-Related Aspects Of President Trump's Budget Request

ABC News: Trump budget proposes cuts to global health amid two global health crises (Finnegan, 2/11).

Devex: New year, similar budget request aims to slash aid budget (Saldinger, 2/11).

Devex: Trump complicates USAID’s already ‘broken’ budget process (Welsh 2/12).

Forbes: Trump Proposes 16% Cut To CDC As Global Number Of Coronavirus Infections And Deaths Rise (Voytko, 2/11).

Foreign Policy: Trump Seeks to Halve U.S. Funding for World Health Organization as Coronavirus Rages (Gramer/Lynch, 2/10).

HuffPost: Trump’s Budget Would Gut Global Health Programs (Robins-Early, 2/11).

PRI: Foreign aid cuts could make U.S. less secure (2/10).

Science: National Institutes of Health would see 7% cut in 2021 under White House plan (Kaiser, 2/10).

Washington Post: Trump budget cuts funding for health, science, environment agencies (Achenbach et al., 2/10).

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Media Outlets Report On U.S. Approach To Coronavirus, Comments By NIAID Director On Outbreak

The Hill: Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020
“A new and dangerous coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands of people in China represents a potentially destabilizing threat to the global economy and Americans’ sense of security, twin strengths that President Trump hopes to rely on as he seeks reelection…” (Wilson, 2/11).

MedPage Today: U.S. Health Officials Defend Coronavirus Containment Effort
“Unknown transmission risks, as well as lack of countermeasures to the novel coronavirus, were key drivers in implementing U.S. travel restrictions, which hope to buy time for public health agencies to implement a response to the outbreak, members of an expert panel said. ‘The decision was not made lightly to have a travel ban,’ Anthony Fauci, MD, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said at the Aspen Institute Event on Coronavirus. ‘When you’re talking about travel bans … you’re never going to exclude everybody. If we can slow down the importation, particularly from the epicenter of the outbreak … we just wanted to buy that window of time to be able to prepare better’…” (Walker, 2/11).

STAT: Major drug makers haven’t stepped up to manufacture NIH coronavirus vaccine, top U.S. health official says
“No major pharmaceutical company has come forward to say it would manufacture a vaccine for the novel coronavirus currently being developed by the National Institutes of Health, a top U.S. official acknowledged Tuesday, a reality that he called ‘very difficult and very frustrating.’ The comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, highlight how challenging it could be to translate the NIH’s work, being undertaken in partnership with the biotech company Moderna Therapeutics, into a vaccine that could be marketed. Fauci described the circumstances as challenging. ‘Companies that have the skill to be able to do it are not going to just sit around and have a warm facility, ready to go for when you need it,’ Fauci said, speaking on a panel Tuesday hosted by the Aspen Institute and moderated by STAT’s Helen Branswell. Fauci said it would be at least a year before a coronavirus vaccine would be available. However, that timeline assumes a large pharmaceutical manufacturer does step up to help make the product…” (Florko, 2/11).

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Novel Coronavirus Officially Named Covid-19, WHO DG Urges Countries To Be Aggressive In Containing Outbreak

BBC: Coronavirus disease named Covid-19
“The World Health Organization says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-19. … It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000. Tens of thousands of people have been infected. Dr. Ghebreyesus called on the world to fight the new virus as aggressively as possible. The word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than the latest strain…” (2/11)

Reuters: World must consider coronavirus ‘public enemy number one’: WHO
“The World Health Organization asked countries to be ‘as aggressive as possible’ in fighting the newly named COVID-19 coronavirus on Tuesday. ‘If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider the virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons,’ WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva…” (Nebehey, 2/11).

Additional coverage of the naming of the novel coronavirus is available from Scientific American, Science Speaks, STAT, and WIRED.

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Experts Discuss Future Trajectory Of Coronavirus Outbreak

Reuters: Coronavirus cases fall, experts disagree whether peak is near
“China reported on Wednesday its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks, bolstering a forecast by Beijing’s senior medical adviser for the outbreak in the country to end by April — but fears of further international spread remained…” (Woo/Geddie, 2/11).

Reuters: Coronavirus outbreak ‘just beginning’ outside China, says expert
“The coronavirus epidemic may be peaking in China where it was first detected in the central city of Wuhan but it is just beginning in the rest of the world and likely to spread, a global expert on infectious diseases said on Wednesday. The Chinese government’s senior medical adviser has said the disease is hitting a peak in China and may be over by April. He said he was basing the forecast on mathematical modelling, recent events and government action. Dale Fisher, chair of the Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network that is coordinated by the World Health Organization, said that predicted ‘time course’ may well be true if the virus is allowed to run free in Wuhan…” (Geddie, 2/12).

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World Bank Not Offering Financial Assistance To China For Coronavirus Outbreak, Says Organization's President

Al Jazeera: World Bank not offering new funds to help China battle virus
“The World Bank is offering technical assistance to China to help battle the coronavirus epidemic but no new loans, the development lender’s president, David Malpass, said on Monday. Malpass told Reuters News Agency the bank was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to aid China, including offering advice about past health crises, but did not plan any financial assistance because China has ample resources of its own…” (2/11).

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Taiwan Attending WHO Coronavirus Meeting This Week Amid Tensions With China Over Outbreak, Status

Reuters: Taiwan says it didn’t need China’s permission for WHO meeting
“Taiwan’s presence at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting this week on the new coronavirus was the result of direct talks between the island and the body, and did not require China’s permission, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. The island’s lack of WHO membership, due to the objections of China, which considers it a wayward Chinese province and not a separate state, has been an increasingly sore point for Taiwan amid the virus outbreak. Taiwan has complained it has been unable to get timely information from the WHO and has accused China of passing incorrect information to the organization about Taiwan’s total virus case numbers, which stand at 18. China has more than 44,000. But in a small diplomatic breakthrough for the island, its health experts were this week allowed to attend an online technical meeting on the virus…” (2/12).

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Media Outlets Report On Various Aspects Of Coronavirus Outbreak

Financial Times: China seizes hotels, hospitals and cars to fight coronavirus (Yu/McMorrow, 2/12).

Financial Times: Drugmakers braced for coronavirus disruption to China supplies (Findlay et al., 2/12).

MedPage Today: Ease of Coronavirus Transmission a Concern, CDC Official Says (Frieden, 2/11).

New York Times: A Store, a Chalet, an Unsealed Pipe: Coronavirus Hot Spots Flare Far From Wuhan (Wang et al., 2/11).

Reuters: Vietnam needs stimulus package to alleviate coronavirus impact, ministry says (Vu/Nguyen, 2/12).

U.N. News: Meeting of top scientists underway to slow coronavirus spread (2/11).

Washington Post: British research center compares covid-19 fatality ratio to ‘major influenza pandemics’ of 20th century (Noack, 2/12).

Washington Post: China’s Chernobyl? The coronavirus outbreak leads to a loaded metaphor (Tharoor, 2/12).

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WHO DG 'Very Encouraged' By Downward Trend In DRC Ebola Cases

AP: WHO chief ‘very encouraged’ by dip in Congo Ebola cases
“The head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday that experts are ‘very encouraged’ after only three new cases of Ebola have been reported in the past week in eastern Congo, a sign that the world’s second deadliest Ebola epidemic in history could finally be waning after 18 months…” (Larson, 2/11).

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UNFPA Launches $683M Appeal For Delivery Of Reproductive Health Services In Fragile Areas

U.N. News: $683 million appeal to deliver reproductive health services, where they’re most needed
“With more than half of all maternal deaths occurring in countries affected by humanitarian crises and fragility, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) is calling for greater international support to provide life-saving reproductive health and protection services in these locations. The sexual and reproductive health agency has launched a $683 million appeal this year to assist nearly 48 million women, girls, and young people in 57 countries affected by conflict or natural disasters…” (2/11).

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Devex Interviews Expert On WASH Financing

Devex: Q&A: How to plug the WASH financing gaps
“The World Bank has estimated that to meet Sustainable Development Goal targets 6.1 and 6.2 — the former on achieving universal and equitable access to safe water for all and the latter on achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation — investments would need to triple to an annual $114 billion. Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO of Sanitation and Water for All — a global, multistakeholder partnership committed to achieving universal access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation — says the estimate is on the modest side…” (2/12).

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UNDP Administrator Discusses Development Trends In Speech

Devex: These 4 trends will define the future of development, Achim Steiner says
“The head of the United Nations Development Programme has outlined four key factors he says will define the future of development. In a speech at the Oxford Forum for International Development, Achim Steiner — the UNDP administrator who previously led the U.N. Environment Programme and the U.N. Office at Nairobi — highlighted how rapid global changes will affect development and should be embraced by professionals in the sector…” (Worley, 2/11).

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Vox Examines Gates Foundation's Philanthropic Strategy, Including Global Health Work

Vox: The surprising strategy behind the Gates Foundation’s success
“Over the first 20 years of its existence, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent $53.8 billion on its various programs, the Gateses announced in their annual letter for 2020. The large majority of that spending, about $39.8 billion, went to global development and global health programs. This is an impressive sum, one that solidifies the foundation as by far the most prolific giver in all of American philanthropy. … But the 2020 annual letter doesn’t just rattle off statistics. It delves into the strategy behind their giving, which is important for understanding everything the Gateses have done to this point…” (Matthews, 2/11).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Funding gaps could lead to locust devastation in East Africa (Jerving, 2/11).
The Guardian: A humanitarian crisis looms in Africa unless we act fast to stop the desert locust (Dongyu/Lowcock, 2/12).

Devex: U.K. jeopardizing development gains in Ghana with rapid reduction of aid, watchdog warns (Worley, 2/12).

Financial Times: Africa’s silent killer: fake drugs (Yehia, 2/11).

The Guardian: ‘It’s a pain you will never overcome’: crisis in Venezuela as babies die of malnutrition (Phillips/Rangel, 2/12).

Livemint: U.N. will not be able to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (Singh, 2/12).

U.N. News: ‘Don’t forget Madagascar’s children’, U.N. appeals for long-term help as emergency worsens (2/11).

UPI: U.N.: 40 percent of North Koreans need humanitarian aid (Maresca, 2/12).

Washington Post: Africa shouldn’t need to beg for climate aid: Bank president (Meseret/Anna, 2/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Coronavirus, Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness, Response

Nature: As coronavirus spreads, the time to think about the next epidemic is now
Editorial Board (2/11).

Project Syndicate: When Viruses Turn Political
Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford (2/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Community Discusses Global Health, Foreign Assistance Aspects Of President's FY2021 Budget Request

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Friends calls on Congress to reject proposed cuts to global health and international assistance funding (2/10).

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: Trump Administration Budget Request Undermines the Effectiveness of U.S. Foreign Assistance (2/11).

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Senior Fellow At Brookings Discusses Role Of New Chief Development Officer At U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

Brookings Institution’s “Up Front”: The Development Finance Corporation confirms the new chief development officer — what’s the role?
George Ingram, senior fellow for global economy and development at Brookings, discusses the confirmation of Andrew Herscowitz to the position of chief development officer (CDO) at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and describes the roles and responsibilities of the position (2/10).

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Global Health Experts Discuss Importance Of Investing In Pandemic Preparedness

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Preparing for pandemics such as coronavirus — will we ever break the vicious cycle of panic and neglect?
Gavin Yamey, director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health and professor at Duke University’s Duke Global Health Institute, and colleagues discuss the importance of investing in pandemic preparedness, highlighting a recent study on trends in donor funding for global health (2/11).

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Bill, Melinda Gates Release 2020 Annual Letter

GatesNotes: Why we swing for the fences
In their 2020 annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reflect on the first two decades of the Foundation’s existence, highlighting the Foundation’s global health efforts, including their relationships with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, PEPFAR’s DREAMS Initiative, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (2/10).

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ONE Campaign Digital Coordinator Highlights 4 Takeaways From Gates 2020 Annual Letter

ONE: ONE’s top takeaways from the 2020 Gates Letter
Sadof Alexander, digital coordinator at the ONE Campaign, highlights four key takeaways from the 2020 annual letter from Bill and Melinda Gates: “1. Investments in health pay off. … 2. There’s no one solution to education. … 3. Farmers need more support. … 4. Gender equality can’t wait” (2/12).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Administrator Remarks On FY2021 Budget Request, Proposed U.S. Contribution To Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks to the Press on the FY 2021 Budget Request (2/10).

USAID: Statement by USAID Administrator Mark Green on the U.S. Contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (2/10).

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Sen. Mike Lee Introduces Protecting Life In Foreign Assistance Act In Senate

U.S. Senator for Utah Mike Lee’s Office: Sen. Lee Introduces Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act
“Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Protecting Life in Foreign Assistance Act Monday, a bill that would codify President Trump’s 2017 executive order prohibiting the availability of foreign aid to organizations that provide or promote abortions…” (2/10).

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From KFF

KFF Analyzes Global Health-Related Funding In President's FY2021 Budget Request

KFF: White House Releases FY21 Budget Request
This budget summary highlights global health-related funding in the President’s FY 2021 budget request, which was released on February 10, 2020. The request includes funding for U.S. global health programs at the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2/11).

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