KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- WHO Warns Nations Must Implement More COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies As Cases Rise By 1M In 5 Days; Virus Antibodies May Dissipate After Several Months, Officials Say
The Hill: WHO chief: Pandemic ‘going to get worse and worse and worse’
“The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that the coronavirus pandemic is raging out of control in North and South America, and that the virus will continue spreading unimpeded unless governments and individuals take the steps needed to suppress its transmission. Nearly 13 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19, and about half of those cases — 6.5 million — have been in the Americas. On Saturday, almost 143,000 of the world’s 230,000 new cases were in North and South America. ‘The epicenter of the virus remains in the Americas, where more than 50 percent of the world’s cases have been recorded,’ WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Monday. ‘It would appear that many countries are losing gains made as proven measures to reduce risk are not implemented or followed’…” (Wilson, 7/13).
CIDRAP News: WHO warns of worse pandemic without detailed national plans (Schnirring, 7/13).
CNBC: WHO says U.S. and Brazil accounted for half of new daily coronavirus cases: ‘Too many countries are headed in the wrong direction’ (Lovelace, 7/13).
CNBC: WHO officials say coronavirus antibodies may wane after several months (Kim/Feuer, 7/13).
Reuters: WHO sounds alarm as coronavirus cases rise by one million in five days (Issa et al., 7/13).
- Pandemic Could Increase Mortality Due HIV, TB, Malaria, Modeling Study Shows
Reuters: Study predicts surge in HIV, TB and malaria deaths amid COVID-19 pandemic
“Deaths from HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria could surge in poor and middle-income countries as already weak health systems grapple with severe disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a predictive study published on Monday. Over the next five years, deaths from the three diseases could rise by as much as 10%, 20%, and 36% respectively — putting the mortality impact on a scale similar to the direct impact of the coronavirus pandemic itself, the modeling study found…” (Kelland, 7/13).
VOA News: COVID-19 May Raise Death Toll from HIV, TB and Malaria
“… ‘It looks to us like a big part of minimizing the entire impact of the COVID-19 epidemics in these countries is going to be maintaining services for these key diseases,’ said Imperial College London global health professor Timothy Hallett, co-author of the new study in The Lancet Global Health. Experts have seen this before. In other epidemics, people have avoided seeking care out of fear of the outbreak disease, and overwhelmed health systems have been unable to provide services. … Hallett and colleagues used mathematical models to estimate how different COVID-19 control scenarios would affect health care systems, and how those impacts would affect patients with HIV, TB and malaria…” (Baragona, 7/14).
- Some Politicians, Activists Raise Questions Over Global Coronavirus Vaccine Plan, 'No Profit' Pledge; E.U. Supports WHO Technology Access Pool; Vaccine, Therapeutic Research Ongoing
AP: Global vaccine plan may allow rich countries to buy more
“Politicians and public health leaders have publicly committed to equitably sharing any coronavirus vaccine that works, but the top global initiative to make that happen may allow rich countries to reinforce their own stockpiles while making fewer doses available for poor ones. Activists warn that without stronger attempts to hold political, pharmaceutical, and health leaders accountable, vaccines will be hoarded by rich countries in an unseemly race to inoculate their populations first…” (Cheng, 7/14).
POLITICO: Vaccine makers’ ‘no profit’ pledge stirs doubts in Congress
“Some of the pharmaceutical companies developing Covid-19 vaccine candidates have pledged to not take a profit. But neither the companies nor the U.S. government bankrolling a great deal of the vaccine research has defined precisely what forgoing a profit means or how long that will last. And that’s feeding skepticism and uncertainty among industry watchers and doubts in Congress about who will end up paying what could be a very large tab…” (Brennan, 7/13).
STAT: European Parliament backs WHO effort to create a Covid-19 technology access pool
“In an overwhelming vote, the European Parliament late last week agreed to support a World Health Organization initiative to create a Technology Access Pool, which would collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to combat Covid-19…” (Silverman, 7/13).
Al Jazeera: How do we develop a COVID-19 vaccine ethically? (7/14).
Fortune: Vanishing antibodies could doom the race to develop a one-and-done coronavirus vaccine, study shows (Dunn, 7/13).
The Hill: Senate Democrats call for $25B for vaccine production, distribution in next package (Sullivan, 7/13).
Homeland Preparedness News: CEPI invests additional $66M into Clover Biopharmaceuticals for COVID-19 vaccine efforts (Galford, 7/13).
Newsweek: Russia Coronavirus Vaccine Could Be Distributed Next Month (Kim, 7/13).
Reuters: Russia may start Phase III trial of COVID-19 vaccine in mid-August: RIA (Ivanova, 7/13).
Washington Post: Decades of research on an HIV vaccine boosts the bid for one against coronavirus (Johnson/Bernstein, 7/14).
Washington Post: Operation Warp Speed is pushing for covid-19 therapeutics by early fall (Johnson, 7/13).
- Trump Launches New Attack On Fauci; Public Health Experts, Scientists, Some Politicians Denounce White House Effort To Undermine Fauci
POLITICO: ‘Everyone is lying’: Trump undercuts public health officials in fresh attacks
“President Donald Trump on Monday launched new attacks on his own administration’s public health officials, while the White House denied that it had perpetrated a smear campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the most venerated voices combating the coronavirus. As his standing in public polling sags amid record numbers of daily Covid-19 infections in the United States, Trump has continued to express public dissatisfaction with Fauci for his dire assessments of the outbreak, including on social media. On Monday morning, he retweeted messages from the politically conservative former game show personality Chuck Woolery — who served stints hosting ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Love Connection’ — which lamented the ‘most outrageous lies’ being spread about the coronavirus pandemic…” (Forgey, 7/13).
STAT: What’s next for Anthony Fauci, if the White House continues to sour on him?
“…Fauci’s role in public outreach has visibly diminished since spring, when he would regularly accompany Trump to daily White House coronavirus task force press briefings. His public role has since been reduced to sporadic appearances on podcasts, at scientific gatherings, or in print news stories. Fauci said recently he hasn’t briefed the president since June. … For now, however, the White House has insisted that Fauci remains in good standing and is not in jeopardy of losing his job. Trump even boasted of his ‘very good relationship’ with Fauci on Monday. Outside experts, however, feel that as long as Fauci continues to speak the truth on the realities of the pandemic, he’ll keep making enemies within the administration…” (Facher, 7/14).
Washington Post: White House effort to undermine Fauci is criticized by public health experts, scientists and Democrats
“A White House effort to undermine Anthony S. Fauci has drawn rebukes from public health experts, scientists, and mostly Democratic politicians, who argue it is dangerous for the Trump administration to disparage a highly respected government infectious-disease expert as the novel coronavirus continues to exact a heavy toll on the nation. The angry reaction occurred after the Washington Post published a story Saturday saying the relationship between President Trump and Fauci had sharply deteriorated and that the two had not spoken since early June…” (McGinley et al., 7/13).
- African Nations Work To Track COVID-19 Cases; Pakistan To Restart Polio Vaccination Campaign Amid Pandemic; Deaths Climb In Yemen; COVID Outbreak On U.S. Military Base Strains Relation With Japan
New Humanitarian: Kenya’s teen pregnancy crisis: More than COVID-19 is to blame (Wadekar, 7/13).
NPR: South Africa Introduces Alcohol Ban And Curfew As Coronavirus Surges (Peralta, 7/13).
Reuters: Counting the burials: African nations scramble to track COVID-19 (Paravicini et al., 7/13).
Xinhua: Uganda says COVID-19 erodes gains in achieving SDGs (7/13).
AP: Asia Today: Another spike brings India past 900,000 cases (7/14).
AP: Pakistan to resume polio campaign as COVID-19 cases decline (Ahmed, 7/14).
AP: Quarantine loopholes bring fresh efforts to fight outbreaks (Passa/Kurtenbach, 7/14).
AP: Indian leader’s virus fund won’t disclose donors, payments (Saaliq, 7/14).
AP: Thais seek to fix errors that allowed infected foreigners in (Vejpongsa, 7/14).
The Telegraph: Pakistan to resume polio vaccination campaign months after it was halted by coronavirus (Farmer, 7/13).
AP: In reversal, U.K. says it will make masks mandatory in shops (7/13).
Financial Times: U.K. warned of winter resurgence in Covid-19 (Gross, 7/13).
Reuters: E.U. should draw up list of medicines to be produced in Europe, says German health minister (Escritt/Copley, 7/13).
Sky News: Coronavirus: Fines for failing to wear a face covering in shops in England (Craig, 7/14).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.K. charities launch appeal to help fragile states fight coronavirus (Batha, 7/13).
The Telegraph: How Brazil became South America’s Covid-19 hotspot (Taylor, 7/13).
The Telegraph: War, starvation, disease… now Covid-19: Yemen ‘haunted by death’ as coronavirus cases climb (Farmer/Mahmood, 7/13).
CNN: America shuts down again — choosing reality over Trump’s false claims (Collinson, 7/14).
New York Times: Coronavirus Outbreak at U.S. Bases in Japan Roils an Uneasy Relationship (Rich et al., 7/13).
New York Times: Is Your State Doing Enough Coronavirus Testing? (Collins, 7/14).
STAT: How to fix the Covid-19 dumpster fire in the U.S. (Branswell, 7/14).
- Women, Children Losing Access To 20% Of Their Health, Social Services Due To COVID-19, Report Says
Devex: Women and children lose 20% of health, social services to COVID-19
“Globally, women and children are losing access to 20% of their health and social services as a result of COVID-19, according to new findings by senior global health experts commissioned by the United Nations. Approximately 13.5 million children have missed life-saving vaccinations over the past four months, and some kids in low-income countries may never receive these routine shots, according to the annual report issued by the U.N. secretary-general’s Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent. … Globally, maternal mortality will see a spike of 24,000 deaths during 2020, as a result of COVID-19, according to the report…” (Lieberman, 7/14).
VOA: Women, Children Suffer as Health Care Resources Go to Fight COVID
“…’Health systems in both rich and poor nations are massively struggling and the services for mothers, newborns, young children, and adolescents are crumbling,’ said Dr. Elizabeth Mason, co-chair of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel that produced the report…” (Pearson, 7/13).
- COVID-19 Response Should Focus On Most Vulnerable; Women, Girls Face Additional Hardships From Pandemic, U.N. Officials Say
U.N. News: Cities and local government must focus on well-being of people in developing countries
“While the scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt in developing and developed countries alike, the president of the U.N. General Assembly maintained on Monday that the response must focus on ‘the two-thirds of the world’s population at risk of being left behind’…” (7/13).
U.N. News: Women and girls deserve more protection in emergencies, U.N. rights council hears
“The collective impact of climate change, COVID-19, and conflict mean that well over 200 million people will likely need humanitarian assistance by 2022, the U.N.’s deputy rights chief said on Monday. Nada Al-Nashif, deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the situation is especially worrying for women and girls. They face additional hardships from the pandemic — including sexual abuse — Ms. Al-Nashif warned, particularly those displaced by war…” (7/13).
- Nations Debate How, Whether To Reopen Schools; Nearly 10M Children May Never Return To School After Pandemic, Save The Children Warns
The Telegraph: Almost 10m children may never return to school following the pandemic
“Almost 10 million children may never return to school following the coronavirus pandemic due to funding cuts and rising poverty, Save the Children has warned. A ‘hidden education emergency’ is facing the world’s poorest children as a result of Covid-19, after an estimated 1.6 billion students were out of school by early April in an effort to stop the spread of the virus…” (Roberts, 7/13).
U.N. News: ‘Don’t make schools a political football’: senior WHO official calls for data-based COVID-19 strategies
“A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official on Monday, [Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme,] called for the question of school reopenings to be included as part of comprehensive, data-driven COVID-19 public health strategies, and not a politically-driven decision-making process. … The senior official said that the topic of school reopenings has become a ‘political football,’ which is not fair on children: ‘decisions must be made on data, and an understanding of the risks. There needs to be a sustained commitment on suppressing the virus. If we can suppress it, then, schools can open safely’…” (7/13).
Washington Post: Reopened schools in Europe and Asia have largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks. They have lessons for the U.S.
“…From Belgium to Japan, schools are abandoning certain social distancing measures, such as alternate-day schedules or extra space between desks. They have decided that part-time or voluntary school attendance, supplemented by distance learning, is not enough — that full classrooms are preferable to leaving kids at home. Those experiences and conclusions may offer hopeful guidance to societies still weighing how to get students and teachers back into primary and secondary classrooms…” (Birnbaum, 7/11).
- In Wake Of Pandemic, International Community Must Work Toward More Sustainable, Equitable Future, WEF Founder, Co-Author Write In New Book
CNBC: Pandemic must lead to real change to avoid risk of conflicts and revolutions, WEF founder says
“The founder of the World Economic Forum has warned that a failure to tackle the deep-rooted ills of our society in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic could exacerbate the risk of ‘violent shocks,’ such as conflicts and revolutions. Professor Klaus Schwab and French author Thierry Malleret’s book, ‘Covid-19: The Great Reset,’ looks ahead to what the post-coronavirus world could look like barely four months after the outbreak was first declared a pandemic. … The co-authors of the book, published Monday, insist the world needs to see, without delay, a reset that puts the world on a path toward a more inclusive, equitable, and respectful future…” (Meredith, 7/13).
- Malnutrition In All Forms Continues To Spread Globally, Hunger Rising, Annual U.N. Food Security Report Warns
U.N. News: U.N. report sends ‘sobering message’ of deeply entrenched hunger globally
“In much of the world, ‘hunger remains deeply entrenched and is rising,’ the U.N. chief said on Monday, launching this year’s major U.N. food security update, highlighting that over the past five years, tens of millions of people have joined the ranks of the chronically undernourished. As countries ‘continue to grapple with malnutrition in all its forms, including the growing burden of obesity,’ Secretary-General António Guterres said that this year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report ‘sends a sobering message.’ The authoritative global study tracking progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition, is produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD), the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO)…” (7/13).
- Combined Protocol Addressing Severe, Moderate Malnutrition Among Children Effective, Less Expensive Than Standard Treatment, Study Shows
Devex: Streamlined malnutrition treatment is effective and less expensive, study shows
“Combining severe and moderate acute malnutrition treatments into a simplified protocol is as effective as traditional treatment but costs $123 less per child, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine. The ‘Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study,’ conducted by the International Rescue Committee, Action Against Hunger, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, found that a combined protocol was 76.3% effective at promoting nutritional recovery, slightly better than the standard treatment’s 73.5%. It is the first trial of its kind to use one diagnostic criterion to treat both severe and moderate acute malnutrition…” (Welsh, 7/14).
- New Ebola Outbreak In Western DRC Growing, WHO Emergencies Chief Warns
Al Jazeera: ‘Great concern’ as new Ebola outbreak grows in western DR Congo
“Ebola is spreading in the western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with nearly 50 known cases across a large region bordering the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, said on Monday that 48 cases had been confirmed in DRC’s Equateur province since authorities announced a new outbreak there on June 1. There were three additional probable cases, he said, while a total of 20 people have died…” (7/13).
- More News In Global Health
BBC: Sudan scraps apostasy law and alcohol ban for non-Muslims (7/12).
Devex: The power of choice: Ensuring access to family planning in the COVID-19 era (7/13).
Devex: Q&A: How data can stop women from going hungry (Castell, 7/13).
IPS: How Senegal Is Providing Reproductive Health Services To Those Who Can Least Afford It (Bhandari, 7/14).
Mother Jones: The Selfish and Unselfish Case for Sending Scientists and Doctors Abroad (Butler, 7/13).
Scientific American: Babies’ Mysterious Resilience to Coronavirus Intrigues Scientists (Hall, 7/14).
STAT: FDA refuses application for HIV drug from CytoDyn, raising more questions about its credibility (Feuerstein, 7/13).
STAT: Pharma trade group scolds Gilead again for misleading information about a rival HIV drug (Silverman, 7/13).
Washington Post: Flossie Wong-Staal, pioneering HIV/AIDS researcher, dies at 73 (Langer, 7/13).
Editorials and Opinions
- Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Impact Of Politics On Response Efforts, Need For Testing Strategies, Impacts On Women, Children
The Atlantic: The United States Needs a New Foreign Policy
William J. Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (7/14).
Boston Globe: Politics endanger COVID-19 vaccine
Editorial Board (7/14).
Financial Times: An airborne virus is a threat worth taking seriously
Anjana Ahuja, science commentator at the Financial Times (7/14).
Foreign Affairs: Predicting the Next Pandemic
Andrew S. Natsios, executive professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, and former USAID administrator (7/14).
The Hill: It’s past time for a pandemic testing strategy
Onkar Ghate, chief philosophy officer and senior fellow, and Elan Journo, senior fellow, both at the Ayn Rand Institute (7/8).
Project Syndicate: Africa Can’t Afford COVID-19 Tradeoffs
Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria; Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership; and Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS (7/13).
Project Syndicate: Will Bolsonaro Survive the Pandemic?
Peter Schechter, founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Latin America Center and host and executive producer of the Altamar podcast (7/13).
The Telegraph: Covid-19 has already killed 500,000, but a larger health catastrophe looms for women and children
Monique Vledder, head of the GFF Secretariat (7/14).
Vox: My patient caught Covid-19 twice. So long to herd immunity hopes?
Clay Ackerly, internal medicine and primary care physician (7/12).
Washington Post: We don’t worry for Dr. Fauci. We worry for the country
Editorial Board (7/13).
Washington Post: Fauci has been an example of conscience and courage. Trump has been nothing but weak
Michael Gerson, columnist at the Washington Post (7/13).
Washington Post: Trump’s performance on covid-19 looks especially bad compared with the rest of the world
Brian Klaas, associate professor of global politics at University College London (7/13).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- CFR Expert Discusses U.S. WHO Withdrawal, Says Action 'Imprudent'
World Politics Review: Leaving the WHO Is No Way to Deal With a Pandemic
Stewart M. Patrick, James H. Binger senior fellow in global governance and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO. Patrick writes, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally notified the United Nations last week that the United States would withdraw from the World Health Organization. This imprudent step, taken in the midst of a rapidly accelerating pandemic, weakens global health at the precise moment it needs to be bolstered. It will endanger lives around the world while further shredding America’s tattered reputation as an enlightened global leader” (7/13).
- MFAN Welcomes Passage Of FY21 SFOPs Bill By House Appropriations Committee
MFAN: MFAN Applauds House Appropriations Committee Passage of FY21 SFOPS Bill
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) co-chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels, and Tessie San Martin delievered a statement on behalf of MFAN addressing the House Appropriations Committee’s passage of its FY 2021 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill last week. The co-chairs write, “This bill is a significant new investment in American foreign assistance and the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network applauds the Committee, and Chairwoman Lowey in particular, for the robust level of funding in the bill, including a new investment of $10 billion to respond to COVID-19 globally. MFAN continues to urge Congress to include significant additional resources in any further Fiscal Year 2020 supplemental appropriations bill” (7/13).
- Blogs, Releases Address Issues Related To COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Impact On Health Workers, TB Services For People With HIV, Global Fund's Role
Amnesty International: Global: Health workers silenced, exposed and attacked (7/13).
Friends of the Global Fight: The Global Fund: At the Leading Edge of the Global Response to COVID-19 (7/13).
PATH: Advocating in a ‘new normal’ (7/8).
UNAIDS: Advancing TB services for people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic (7/13).
UNDP: What does coronavirus mean for women
Carolina Rivera, research analyst with the Human Development Report Office at UNDP, and colleagues (7/13).
- Wellcome Expert Examines Need For Antibiotic Development, More Government Action
Wellcome: A lifeline for antibiotic development
Jeremy Knox, policy & advocacy lead for drug-resistant infections at Wellcome, discusses the role of governments in stimulating antibiotic development and the AMR Action Fund. Knox writes, “High on the list of acute concerns is the continuing global spread of drug-resistant infections, ‘superbugs’ which can no longer be effectively treated by existing antibiotics. … Last week’s launch of the near $1 billion industry-led AMR Action Fund marks a major and much-needed step forward in our struggle with this problem and promises to provide a shot in the arm for antibiotic development. … Long-term sustainability still depends on governments stepping in to fairly incentivize the antibiotic innovation we all need. So far, the calls for them to do so have too often gone unheeded: now it is time for politicians to recognize that, like a COVID-19 vaccine, antibiotics are a medical innovation we can’t afford to live without” (7/13).
- KFF Analyzes Global Health Aspects Of House FY21 HHS Appropriations Bill, Including Emergency Funding For COVID-19 Response
KFF: House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2021 Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Bill
The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill (and accompanying report) on July 13, 2020. The LHHS appropriations bill includes funding for U.S. global health programs provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and some funding for global health research activities provided to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The bill also includes emergency funding for COVID-19 response efforts (7/14).
- KFF Updates Global HIV/AIDS Fact Sheet
KFF: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
This updated fact sheet provides the latest data on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, including impact by region, treatment and prevention efforts, and an overview of the U.S. and global responses to the epidemic (7/13).
- KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of July 14, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/14).
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.