KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Coronavirus Cases Pass 75K With More Than 2K Deaths

IBT: Coronavirus Update: Hong Kong Reports Second Death, Global Death Toll Hits 2,009
“…China reported the death toll from Covid-19 at 2,009, as of 11:00 a.m., Hong Kong time. The deaths exceeded the 2,000 mark about six hours earlier. The degree of the disease’s infectiousness can be gleaned from casualty reports only hours apart. As of 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, Hong Kong time, China reported 75,196 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 2,009 deaths worldwide. In addition, the National Health Commission (NHC) claims 14,449 persons have recovered from the pneumonia-like illness. Some 11,200 people remain in severe or critical condition…” (Villasanta, 2/18).

U.N. News: ‘Working night and day,’ U.N. health agency seeks to prevent global coronavirus crisis
“As COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, continues to spread, the head of the United Nations health agency said that there is still a chance to prevent a broader global crisis. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), updated journalists on Tuesday … For more than a month, WHO has been supporting national authorities in other countries with cases, to track the virus and understand how people became infected…” (2/18).

Additional coverage of the global spread of COVID-19 is available from AP, Bloomberg, CNN, and New York Times.

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Media Outlets Examine Economic, Social Impacts Of Coronavirus In China, Globally

The Atlantic: Coronavirus Is Devastating Chinese Tourism (McLaughlin/Diamond, 2/19).

New York Times: In Coronavirus Fight, China Sidelines an Ally: Its Own People (Yuan, 2/18).

Reuters: China to tackle misuse of coronavirus funds by local governments: ministry (Zhang/Stanway, 2/19).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Exposes Businesses’ Dependency on China (Kubota et al., 2/18).

Wall Street Journal: Amid Coronavirus, the World Closes Its Doors to China: ‘I Feel So Isolated’ (Areddy et al., 2/18).

Wall Street Journal: China Turns to Health-Rating Apps to Control Movements During Coronavirus Outbreak (Lin et al., 2/18).

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U.S. CDC Announces Quarantine For All Diamond Princess Cruise Passengers, Warns Additional Cases Possible On Ship

Financial Times: U.S. warns against releasing Diamond Princess passengers in Japan
“The hundreds of passengers being released by Japan from the Diamond Princess posed an ‘ongoing risk’ of spreading the coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control warned as about 500 people began disembarking from the stricken cruise ship. The leading American public health institute said that attempts to quarantine the 3,700 passengers who were on board the vessel moored off Yokohama had been ineffective, after several hundred people on board contracted the infection…” (Harding/Woodhouse, 2/19).

Additional coverage of the handling of COVID-19 cases on cruise ships is available from New York Times (2), Quartz, Reuters, and Wall Street Journal.

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U.S. HHS Working With Sanofi, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies To Develop COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment

The Hill: U.S. partnering with drugmakers on coronavirus vaccine
“The Trump administration is working with two pharmaceutical companies to develop a treatment for the coronavirus. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Tuesday said it would provide funding to French drugmaker Sanofi to produce a coronavirus vaccine candidate. … Also on Tuesday, BARDA said it was expanding its partnership with Janssen, part of Johnson & Johnson…” (Weixel, 2/18).

Additional coverage of the search for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is available from ABC’s RN Drive, Reuters, STAT, and Wall Street Journal.

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Devex Examines Impact Of Mexico City Policy In Malawi

Devex: In Malawi, Trump’s global gag rule creates culture of intimidation
“Malawi has seen a lack of access to HIV services in some areas, a siloing of health care, and a hold on legislation as a result of U.S. global health assistance policies. The ‘global gag rule,’ or Mexico City policy, which states that foreign NGOs that receive any U.S. global health funding are prohibited from engaging in abortion-related activities, including providing counseling or education, hampers sexual and reproductive health services around the world. In Malawi, the policy has impacted policy and health more broadly, according to a report released last week…” (Saldinger, 2/19).

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World Failing To Protect Children's Health, Future Wellbeing, WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission Report Says

The Guardian: The world is failing to ensure children have a ‘liveable planet,’ report finds
“Every country in the world is failing to shield children’s health and their futures from intensifying ecological degradation, climate change, and exploitative marketing practices, says a new report. The report says that despite dramatic improvements in survival, nutrition, and education over the past 20 years, ‘today’s children face an uncertain future,’ with every child facing ‘existential threats.’ ‘In 2015, the world’s countries agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), yet nearly five years later, few countries have recorded much progress towards achieving them,’ says the report by a commission of 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world…” (Dehghan, 2/19).

Reuters: Children prey to online ads of harmful products, regulation needed: U.N. study
“Children and adolescents are being bombarded with ads on social media promoting harmful products from fast food to tobacco and alcohol, according to a United Nations-backed report on Wednesday that called for regulation. Advertisers also sell data on children obtained from electronic games to global tech giants, said the report’s lead author, Anthony Costello…” (Nebehay, 2/18).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Climate disruption threatens health and future of all children, commission warns
“…Not one country performed well on all three measures of child flourishing, sustainability and equity, concluded the commission convened by the World Heath Organization, The Lancet medical journal and U.N. children’s agency UNICEF…” (Rowling, 2/18).

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U.N. Prioritizing Polio Eradication, SG Guterres Says On Official Visit To Pakistan

U.N. News: Polio eradication a U.N. priority, says Guterres in Pakistan visit
“In one of the last bastions of polio on the planet, millions of children are being given a fighting chance against the paralyzing and potentially fatal disease. During his first official visit to Pakistan as U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres stopped at a kindergarten in Lahore on Tuesday, as the country kicked off its initial nationwide polio campaign for the year…” (2/18).

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More News In Global Health

BBC: The Ugandan village devastated by elephantiasis (Atuhaire, 2/19).

Devex: Making Australia’s humanitarian assistance fit for the future (Cornish, 2/19).

Devex: Who is Anne-Marie Trevelyan, DFID’s new secretary of state? (Worley, 2/19).

The Guardian: ‘The job is not done’: the fight to combat neglected tropical diseases (Young-Powell, 2/19).

Reuters: Air strikes hit hospitals, camps in northwest Syria, Turkey demands pull-back (Knecht/Nebehay, 2/18).

Reuters: Russian blogger’s HIV documentary reaches millions, draws Kremlin praise (Tétrault-Farber, 2/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Chinese Governance Issues Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Bloomberg: WHO Needs to Quit Being Polite With China
Adam Minter, Bloomberg opinion columnist and author

“…[T]oo much political deference in a health emergency is a global risk in its own right. The WHO is uniquely positioned to demand more from China. It needs to do so now. … [I]t’s understandable that the WHO and Director-General Tedros have trodden carefully in their public statements about China’s response to the crisis — even when they know better. The WHO is undoubtedly frustrated by China’s well-documented efforts to cover up the early stages of the outbreak, but the agency realizes that airing such grievances will most likely only inhibit cooperation. Yet the WHO has gone beyond just keeping quiet. … Politics has its place in global health. But ultimately, the WHO must serve the interests of a global community at risk. Since early December, the WHO and its leadership have politely deferred to China. That should end now” (2/18).

Financial Times: What the coronavirus crisis tells us about Chinese governance
Charles Parton, senior associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute

“…It is right to look at the [Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP)] governance, what it means for President Xi Jinping and China, not least because the answers affect — and may infect — us all. … So far the CCP has played it by the textbook. Blaming local officials, exonerating the top leaders … censoring the media, threatening ‘rumor mongers.’ All of that breeds distrust and cynicism, both with the people and among officials. None of which is likely to threaten Mr. Xi’s hold on power. What might could arrive later: a collapsed economy, bankruptcies on a large scale, unemployment, unpaid wages and inflation … and agricultural failure … Those depend on successfully containing the virus and on how quickly China can return to work without causing a secondary surge of infections. … If Mr. Xi judges this incorrectly, he will face considerable turbulence. … The CCP’s governance system got off to a slow start in tackling the coronavirus crisis. As a result, it faces bigger challenges. … If Mr. Xi’s world is to end, it will not be with a bang or a whimper. But it might be with a broken economy” (2/18).

Houston Chronicle: U.S. Rep. Will Hurd: Coronavirus response reflects China’s lack of transparency
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas)

“…Addressing [the coronavirus outbreak] must be a global effort, but China’s record of opacity has hindered efforts aimed at understanding its origins and mitigating its effect. … The [Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP)] lack of transparency and openness threatens both the health and economic security of the U.S. and the international community. To force China to change its behavior, maybe it’s time to impose restrictions on Chinese firms operating in the U.S. service sector or sanction Chinese officials and enterprises that target American firms to create more economic reciprocity. The United States and China are intertwined and both countries can coexist, but this will only become a reality if the CCP starts being transparent not just with the United States and the global community but with its own citizens. Hopefully, the chaos created by the Chinese government’s disastrous response to this latest global health threat is the wake-up call the CCP needs to realize they have to change their way” (2/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Experts Examine President's FY21 Budget Request For International Affairs

Center for Global Development: Cutting Aid is Still A Big Deal: Why We Should Pay Attention to the FY21 Budget Request
Erin Collinson, director of policy outreach at CGD, and Jocilyn Estes, program coordinator for the U.S. Development Policy Program at CGD, examine President Trump’s proposed FY21 international affairs budget, including cuts to U.S. global health programs at USAID and the Department of State (2/18).

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ONE U.K. And Ireland Director Welcomes New DFID Secretary Of State, Reflects On Legacy, Future Of U.K. Aid

ONE: Why DFID matters on the global stage
Romilly Greenhill, director at ONE U.K. and Ireland, discusses the U.K.’s commitment to foreign aid, reflecting on both the legacy and future of U.K. aid, and welcomes Anne-Marie Trevelyan as DFID’s new secretary of state. Greenhill writes, “As we welcome Anne-Marie Trevelyan as our new secretary of state, we urge the U.K. government to continue to uphold DFID’s standards and maintain its departmental independence. Do we want to damage our hard-won global image by reducing our aid effort, or redirecting aid towards our own, narrow, British interests? Or do we keep our place at the world’s top table, helping to secure peace, progress, and prosperity for all?” (2/18).

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FCAA Releases 17th Annual Resource Tracking Report On Philanthropic Support For HIV/AIDS

Funders Concerned About AIDS: Latest Resource Tracking Data Shows Relatively Flat Private Philanthropic Support for HIV/AIDS
FCAA Executive Director John L. Barnes writes, “I am pleased to share FCAA’s 17th annual resource tracking report — Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS — announcing $651 million in HIV-related philanthropic funding disbursed in 2018. The bottom line, however, is that global philanthropic funding to fight the epidemic remained relatively flat, with only a 2% increase between 2017 and 2018…” (2/17).

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3rd Global Ministerial Conference On Road Safety An Opportunity To Make Progress Toward Halving Global Road Traffic Deaths, Injuries, WHO Says

World Health Organization: It’s time to get serious in addressing the leading killer of our youth
Etienne Krug, director at the WHO’s Department of Social Determinants of Health, discusses the road transport system, road safety, and related challenges for health and development. Krug writes, “The declaration from ministers and stakeholders [convening at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety] in Stockholm will pave the way for the necessary political will and additional innovative approaches to drive progress towards halving global road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. Let’s hope the right decision is taken now, so that we can move quickly towards a safe, healthy, and clean transport system for everyone” (2/19).

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Pfizer/Upjohn White Paper Provides Review Of Research, Strategies To Address NCDs Globally

Pfizer/Upjohn: Leading the Conversation on Noncommunicable Diseases Worldwide: An Evidence-Based Review of Key Research and Strategies to Develop Sustainable Solutions
This white paper provides a review of research and strategies to address noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including descriptions of the global NCD burden, causes of NCDs, global and regional trends, interventions to address NCDs, stakeholders involved in managing NCDs, and potential solutions to address NCDs (February 2020).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Discusses Role As PEPFAR Implementing Partner, Efforts To End Global HIV, TB Epidemics

CDC: On the Frontlines: The Leaders, Experts, Innovators, and Change Makers Transforming the Global HIV Epidemic
In this updated collection, CDC discusses its role as a key implementing agency of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). According to the page, “CDC plays a unique role, bringing scientific know-how and on-the-ground expertise to bring about significant impact in the fight against these diseases. Just last year, our efforts accounted for more than 50 percent of key PEPFAR outcomes to treat and prevent HIV and TB. … Since 2003, CDC and other PEPFAR implementing partners have helped save more than 17 million lives. While we’ve made great progress, we urgently need to do more. We cannot stop now. Continuing this momentum is critical to controlling and ultimately ending the global HIV and TB epidemics” (February 2020).

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