KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Health Officials Provide Coronavirus Response Plans, Offer Assistance To China

PBS NewsHour: WATCH: Health officials unveil strategy to combat novel coronavirus in the U.S.
“Top U.S. health officials laid out plans Tuesday to develop better screening tests, medications, and a potential vaccine to combat novel coronavirus, a flu-like illness that spread from China to more than a dozen countries around the world. … Standing alongside Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and other top U.S. health officials, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar emphasized the need to work with global health experts to prevent the virus from taking hold in the U.S…” (Santhanam, 1/28).

STAT: Federal officials tell China: Let U.S. health workers enter to help respond to coronavirus
“Federal officials on Tuesday called for a team of Americans to be allowed to enter China and assist with the local response to the novel coronavirus outbreak there, an offer that U.S. officials say the Chinese government has not yet authorized since it was first extended three weeks ago. … ‘We’re urging China: More cooperation and transparency are the most important steps you can take for a more effective response,’ Azar said at a press conference…” (Facher, 1/28).

Additional coverage of the U.S. health officials’ press conference, as well as reaction from other U.S. politicians and researchers, is available from CNBC, The Hill, NBC, NPR, Science Speaks, POLITICO, and UPI.

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China Agrees To Admit WHO-Coordinated Team Of Experts To Assist In Coronavirus Response

New York Times: China Will Admit International Experts to Help Contain Coronavirus Outbreak
“After repeatedly declining assistance from international health officials, Chinese authorities agreed on Tuesday to permit teams of experts coordinated by the World Health Organization to visit China to help contain the growing coronavirus outbreak…” (Rabin, 1/28).

Reuters: WHO weighs science and politics in global virus emergency decision
“Most of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) criteria for declaring a global emergency have been met, but it is awaiting clear evidence of a sustained spread of the new coronavirus outside China before doing so, some experts and diplomats said…” (Nebehay/Kelland, 1/28).

Wall Street Journal: Travel Barriers Rise as WHO Chief Praises Beijing’s Coronavirus Response
“…[T]he head of the World Health Organization praised Beijing’s handling of the outbreak of a new and dangerous coronavirus. The words of encouragement from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing on Tuesday offered a public boost to a government response that has come under fire for a lack of transparency, but other developments illustrated continuing fears around the globe that Chinese authorities might not be doing enough to contain the fast-spreading virus…” (Yang et al., 1/28).

Additional coverage of WHO and Chinese responses to the coronavirus outbreak is available from CNBC, Devex, NPR, and Reuters.

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Chinese Officials Record More Than 6K Coronavirus Cases, Surpassing SARS Cases During 2002-03 Outbreak

Washington Post: New coronavirus cases in China surpass SARS epidemic as infections grow abroad
“As the total number of people in mainland China infected by the new coronavirus surpasses those stricken by the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, Beijing has shut down schools indefinitely. … The death toll has risen to 132 in China, with 6,078 confirmed cases of infection as of Wednesday evening local time — a day-over-day increase of more than 1,000. Other countries in the region also are reporting more people infected — nearly all of them tourists from China…” (Denyer/Crawshaw, 1/29).

Additional coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and response is available from AP, Newsweek, POLITICO, STAT, and Washington Post.

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Media Outlets Examine Political, Economic Impacts Of Coronavirus, Response In China

New York Times: Coronavirus Crisis Exposes Cracks in China’s Facade of Unity
“From the outside, China’s Communist Party appears powerful and effective. It has tightened its control over Chinese politics and culture, the economy and everyday life, projecting the image of a gradually unifying society. The coronavirus outbreak has blown up that facade…” (Li, 1/28).

Washington Post: In coronavirus outbreak, China’s leaders scramble to avert a Chernobyl moment
“…While China battles a coronavirus epidemic with potentially far-reaching implications for global public health and the domestic economy, the Communist Party is also scrambling to delicately manage the political risk as citizens fume over how officials bungled the initial response to the outbreak…” (Shih, 1/29).

Additional coverage is available from New York Times (2), Reuters, The Telegraph, and Washington Post.

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Australian Scientists Successfully Grow Novel Coronavirus In Lab As Researchers Worldwide Continue Vaccine Development Efforts

Devex: Lab-grown novel coronavirus to speed up detection and response
“The growth of novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, in a Melbourne-based laboratory has been described by the scientists behind this development as ‘a piece in the puzzle’ to developing tests and vaccines to combat its rapid spread. … The grown virus is expected to be used to create a first-generation antibody test, which allows detection of the virus in patients who haven’t displayed symptoms…” (Cornish/Ravelo, 1/29).

New York Times: Researchers Are Racing to Make a Coronavirus Vaccine. Will It Help?
“…Scientists [at the NIH,] in Australia and at least three companies — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals — are also working on vaccine candidates to stop the spread of the disease, which has infected about 6,000 people and killed more than 130. … But even as new technology, advancements in genomics and improved global coordination have allowed researchers to move at unprecedented speed, vaccine development remains an expensive and risky process. It takes months and even years because the vaccines must undergo extensive testing in animals and humans. In the best case, it takes at least a year — and most likely longer — for any vaccine to become available to the public…” (Sheikh/Thomas, 1/28).

Additional coverage on scientific and research efforts on the novel coronavirus is available from CNBC, DW, Financial Times, Nature, New York Times, Reuters (2), Science, and The Telegraph.

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren Releases Plan To Prevent, Contain, Treat Infectious Disease Outbreaks Domestically, Abroad

Associated Press: Warren offers infectious-disease plan amid China outbreak
“Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has announced a plan to prevent, contain, and treat infectious diseases as a new viral illness spreads in China. The Massachusetts senator on Tuesday unveiled a plan that includes fully funding the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s pandemic prevention and response programs…” (Weissert, 1/28).

CNBC: Elizabeth Warren releases plan to prevent and contain infectious diseases amid coronavirus outbreak
“…Warren’s infectious diseases plan also draws on her previously released plans to address climate change and the opioid epidemic, issues which exacerbate the spread of diseases, as well as her health-care agenda…” (Higgins, 1/28).

The Hill: Warren releases plan for preventing, containing infectious diseases
“… ‘Diseases like Ebola virus, Zika virus and most recently, coronavirus demonstrate the real threat that outbreaks pose to our health and security,’ Warren’s campaign wrote in her plan. ‘The United States can be a leader in combatting these problems. But to do so, we must invest at home to ensure our public health agencies, hospitals, and health care providers are ready to jump into action when outbreaks strike’…” (Hellmann, 1/28).

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RAND Researchers Propose Broadening Definition Of Global Health Security In New Paper

Homeland Preparedness News: Researchers broaden global health security for contemporary, future threats
“Global health security may need an overhaul. That’s how Kathryn Bouskill, a social scientist at the RAND Corporation and associate director of the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security, sees the future of the discipline. In her recently published paper ‘Global Health and Security: Threats and Opportunities,’ Bouskill argues that the traditional ways in which society has defined health security — confined to bioterrorism and containing infectious disease — do not encompass the complexities of global health and the contemporary ways needed to protect it at national levels…” (Adrien, 1/28).

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U.N. Establishes High-Level Panel On Financing For SDGs

U.N. News: New U.N. finance panel to push Global Goals forward
“The President of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday encouraged Member States to support a new panel that has been set up to help make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality, by 2030. On Tuesday, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and Mona Juul, the president of the U.N. Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, introduced a joint initiative to establish a high-level panel on financial accountability, transparency, and integrity, called FACTI…” (1/28).

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Attacks By Armed Militia Groups Further Destabilize Congo's Ebola-Hit Eastern Region Of Beni

New Humanitarian: Gruesome attacks deepen instability in Congo’s Ebola zone
“…Residents of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern region of Beni have been at the center of the world’s second deadliest Ebola epidemic for more than 17 months. But now they are contending with the resurgence of another, longer-running crisis: attacks by armed groups that have killed more than 260 people — mostly women and children — in the past 12 weeks alone…” (Flummerfelt, 1/28).

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More News In Global Health

CBS: These were the most underreported humanitarian crises in 2019, according to a new report (Ott, 1/28).

Health24: Deadly Marburg virus pops up in West-Africa for the first time — shouldn’t we be taking more notice? (Wilke, 1/29).

Homeland Preparedness News: New reports show weak pipeline for antibiotics against drug-resistant infections (Kovaleski, 1/28).

Reuters: Hunger, fear and death: an Ethiopian migrant family’s story (Paravicini, 1/29).

San Diego Union-Tribune: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives Scripps Research $50M to fight deadly diseases (Robbins, 1/28).

STAT: TB vaccines can vary greatly, study finds. But does that mean some are less protective? (Boodman, 1/28).

Xinhua: Rwanda mounts campaign to eradicate malaria (1/29).

Xinhua: Uganda to distribute 70,000 mosquito nets in rural central region (1/28).

Xinhua: Zambians outrage over abuse of antiretroviral drugs by HIV-negative people (1/28).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Issues Related To Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Bloomberg: China’s Economy Is Different With This Virus Outbreak
Tim Culpan, Bloomberg opinion columnist (1/27).

The Conversation: Steps Nigeria is taking to prepare for cases of coronavirus
Chikwe Ihekweazu, senior honorary lecturer on infectious diseases at UCL (1/28).

Foreign Policy: Don’t Blame Bat Soup for the Wuhan Virus
James Palmer, senior editor at Foreign Policy (1/27).

New England Journal of Medicine: A Novel Coronavirus Emerging in China — Key Questions for Impact Assessment
Vincent J. Munster, chief of the virus ecology unit at the NIH’s Laboratory of Virology, and colleagues (1/24).

New York Times: How to Avoid the Coronavirus? Wash Your Hands
Elisabeth Rosenthal, author, contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, and editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News (1/28).

POLITICO Magazine: Donald Trump Is Not a Doctor. But He Plays One on Twitter.
Jordan Muller, editorial intern at POLITICO Magazine (1/29).

Project Syndicate: The Coronavirus Is a Disease of Chinese Autocracy
Minxin Pei, professor at Claremont McKenna College and non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (1/28).

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More Opinions In Global Health

Al Jazeera: It is time to change the definition of refugee
Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch (1/26).

The Conversation: Messages about male circumcision aren’t clear: why this is dangerous
Gwinyai Masukume, medical doctor, epidemiologist, and biostatistician, and Witness Mapanga, health systems and policy researcher and cancer clinical epidemiologist, both at the University of the Witwatersrand (1/27).

Devex: Opinion: From talk to action — how parliaments make a difference
Achim Steiner, administrator at the United Nations Development Program and vice-chair of the U.N. Development Group, and Martin Chungong, secretary general at the Inter-Parliamentary Union 1/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Community Provides Commentary, Situation Reports On Coronavirus

BMJ Opinion: Coronavirus — knowledge is the antidote to fear
Julian Sheather, ethics manager at BMA, discusses the importance of knowledge and research as a first-line response to disease outbreaks, writing, “The outbreak of a serious infectious disease is not just a biomedical event. It affects people and their communities. … Overwhelmingly it is a human event. And for me the overriding message … is that responders who ignore these dimensions of a global health emergency imperil their response” (1/29).

ONE: Coronavirus proves why we need to invest in global health programs
Jenny Ottenhoff, policy director for global health and education at the ONE Campaign, discusses the importance of investing in global health programs, writing, “As coronavirus spreads, we’re reminded that global health security is only as strong as its weakest link. Failing to build up strong and efficient health systems around the world reduces our capacity to respond to diseases as swiftly and effectively as possible — which, in today’s hyper connected world, ultimately increases the risk to people everywhere” (1/28).

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s “Center for Health Security”: Situation Reports: CoV-2019
This page provides updates on the emerging novel coronavirus from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (January 2020).

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Friends Of The Global Fight Releases U.S. Investment Case For Global Fund

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: A Smart, Lifesaving U.S. Investment in 2020
This graphic provides an overview of the U.S. investment case for the Global Fund, highlighting global progress against AIDS, TB, and malaria; the Global Fund’s benefits to the U.S.; the role of the U.S. in catalyzing domestic investments in addressing these three diseases; and new challenges (1/27).

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Global Health Community Highlights Global Pneumonia Efforts Ahead Of First-Ever Global Forum On Childhood Pneumonia

BMJ Opinion: A new shot at protecting children from pneumonia: will leaders accelerate access for the millions of children left behind?
Kate Elder, senior vaccines policy adviser for the MSF Access Campaign, discusses efforts to address childhood pneumonia and highlights efforts to provide global access to pneumonia vaccines (1/29).

Médecins Sans Frontières‎ Access Campaign: MSF: Global vaccines community must urgently support rollout of new more affordable pneumonia vaccine
“As governments and the global vaccines community gather this week at the first-ever Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia in Barcelona, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to commit to supporting the introduction of a new, more affordable version of the pneumonia vaccine, particularly in countries where it has not been introduced because of its high price…” (1/29).

UNICEF: 9 million children could die in a decade unless world acts on pneumonia, leading agencies warn
“Boosting efforts to fight pneumonia could avert nearly 9 million child deaths from pneumonia and other major diseases, a new analysis has found ahead of the first-ever global forum on childhood pneumonia in Barcelona (January 29-31). According to a modeling by Johns Hopkins University, scaling up pneumonia treatment and prevention services can save the lives of 3.2 million children under the age of five. It would also create ‘a ripple effect’ that would prevent 5.7 million extra child deaths from other major childhood diseases at the same time, underscoring the need for integrated health services…” (1/29).

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Wellcome Expert Discusses Importance Of Investing In Antibiotic Development

Wellcome: Race for new antibiotics: future success is hanging by a thread
Tim Jinks, head of the Drug-resistant Infections Program at Wellcome, discusses the importance of stepping up investments in antibiotic development, highlighting his recent piece published in The Times and writing, “The world desperately needs new antibiotics — they are the foundation of modern medicine. … Industry and governments must recognize their shared interest in getting new antibiotics to the patients who need them the most” (1/28).

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From the U.S. Government

Updated 'Water Currents' Issue Highlights USAID NTD Resources Ahead Of First-Ever World NTD Day

Global Waters/USAID: Water Currents: WASH and Neglected Tropical Diseases
“The provision of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is recognized as both a key intervention and a necessary component for the prevention and provision of care for all neglected tropical diseases. USAID’s Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Program in the Bureau for Global Health contributed content and suggested this topic as a way to highlight the first-ever World NTD Day on January 30, 2020. … This issue of Water Currents updates the May 2019 NTD issue with USAID NTD resources and just-published studies on dengue, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminth infections, and trachoma…” (1/28).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Fact Sheet On U.S. Government's Global Efforts On NTDs Ahead Of First-Ever World NTD Day

KFF: The U.S. Government and Global Neglected Tropical Disease Efforts
Updated ahead of the first-ever World NTD Day, which takes place on January 30, this fact sheet discusses the U.S. government’s efforts to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) around the world and presents information on NTDs, including statistics, interventions, and international control goals (1/28).

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