KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Humanitarian Aid From Top Donors Down As U.N. Appeals Increase Amid Pandemic, Analysis Shows

AP: AP Exclusive: Aid from top donors drops even as need soars
“A new snapshot of the frantic global response to the coronavirus pandemic shows some of the world’s largest government donors of humanitarian aid are buckling under the strain: Funding commitments, for the virus and otherwise, have dropped by a third from the same period last year. The analysis by the U.K.-based Development Initiatives, obtained in advance by the Associated Press, offers a rare real-time look at the notoriously difficult to track world of aid…” (Anna, 7/22).

SciDev.Net: Aid plummets as U.N. calls for US$10bil in COVID-19 relief
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demands for humanitarian aid by 25 percent against a backdrop of already plummeting financial support, a new report reveals. Appeals to the United Nations in 2019 reached record highs of US$30.4 billion, while aid funding dropped for the first time in seven years, down $1.6 billion…” (Jack, 7/22).

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IMF, U.N. Agencies Urge International Community To Take Action To Protect Women, Children From COVID-19 Impacts

The Guardian: IMF urges swift action to protect women from Covid-19 economic hit
“Governments around the world have been warned by the International Monetary Fund to take swift action to limit the economic damage for women that has been unleashed by Covid-19. Sounding the alarm over the disproportionate impact on women amid the worst global recession since the 1930s Great Depression, the Washington-based organization said the pandemic threatened to roll back gains in women’s economic opportunities, widening gender gaps that persist despite 30 years of progress. The IMF said governments needed to use the full power of their tax and spending toolkit to extend income support to the most vulnerable people, protect employment and provide incentives to balance work and family care responsibilities…” (Partington, 7/21).

U.N. News: Harness multilateralism’s power to urgently advance women’s rights amid COVID recovery
“With essential resources for women’s health being diverted to emergency COVID-19 response around the world, governments, civil society leaders, CEOs, and academic experts gathered virtually on Tuesday to explore ways to accelerate the achievement of landmark targets set 25 years ago for gender equality and women’s empowerment. ‘It’s up to us to make sure that we use the power of multilateral investment and commitment to realize the potential gains from radical, positive action to redress long-standing inequalities in multiple areas of women’s lives,’ said U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, during the day-long interactive hearing organized by General Assembly President Tijani Muhammad-Bande…” (7/21).

U.N. News: ‘COVID-19 is making a global childcare crisis even worse’: UNICEF chief
“Following the release of a U.N. study that shows at least 40 million children have missed out on early childhood education due to measures to combat COVID-19, the head of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta Fore, warned that ‘the pandemic is making a global childcare crisis even worse.’ The research brief, published on Wednesday, looks at the state of childcare and early childhood education globally, and includes an analysis of the significant disruption that widespread closures of these vital family services, due to the pandemic, are having…” (7/21).

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5 Pharmaceutical Company Executives Discuss Plans For Cost, Distribution, Safety Of Potential COVID-19 Vaccines In U.S. House Investigative Subcommittee Hearing

New York Times: Some Vaccine Makers Say They Plan to Profit From Coronavirus Vaccine
“Executives from four companies in the race to produce a coronavirus vaccine — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics, and Pfizer — told lawmakers on Tuesday that they are optimistic their products could be ready by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. All four companies are testing vaccines in human clinical trials. Three of the firms — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna — are getting federal funds for their vaccine development efforts. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson pledged to the lawmakers that they would produce hundreds of millions of doses of their vaccines at no profit to themselves. Moderna, however, which has been granted $483 million from the government to develop its product, made no such promise…” (Wu, 7/21).

STAT: Pharma promises lawmakers, again and again, industry won’t cut corners with Covid-19 vaccines
“…Officials from five major vaccine makers — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, and Pfizer — all used their testimony before a House investigative subcommittee on Tuesday to push back on concerns that the Food and Drug Administration might prematurely approve a vaccine for the novel coronavirus and thereby put Americans at risk. … Committee members from both parties repeatedly asked the executives whether they were prioritizing safety, whether such rapid development was possible, and whether the FDA was up to the challenge of responsibly vetting vaccine candidates. Their assurances were of little comfort to some Democrats on the committee, who voiced concerns that President Trump, in search of a pre-election polling boost, might overrule the agency and demand an approved vaccine…” (Garde, 7/21).

Bloomberg Law: Fair Covid Vaccine Distribution Plan Heads to National Academies (Baumann, 7/21).

The Hill: How excited should we be about coronavirus vaccine progress and what is dual immune action? (Hou, 7/21).

Nature: Coronavirus vaccines leap through safety trials — but which will work is anybody’s guess (Callaway, 7/21).

Reuters: Brazil approves human trials for third COVID-19 vaccine (Brito/Simões, 7/21).

Reuters: Brazil seeking COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca (Fonseca/Spring, 7/21).

POLITICO: 5 key takeaways from Tuesday’s big coronavirus vaccine hearing (Owermohle, 7/21).

STAT: Confusion spreads over system to determine priority access to Covid-19 vaccines (Branswell, 7/22).

Wall Street Journal: Pharma Companies Split on Coronavirus Vaccine Pricing Plans (Hopkins/Loftus, 7/21).

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U.S. Government, Pfizer Agree To Large-Scale Production Of Potential Novel Coronavirus Vaccine

HHS: U.S. Government Engages Pfizer to Produce Millions of Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense (DoD) today announced an agreement with U.S.-based Pfizer Inc. for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval. The agreement also allows the U.S. government to acquire an additional 500 million doses…” (7/22).

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U.S. Accuses Hackers Of Targeting Coronavirus Vaccine Research, Other Industries For Chinese Government

New York Times: U.S. Accuses Hackers of Trying to Steal Coronavirus Vaccine Data for China
“The Justice Department accused a pair of Chinese hackers on Tuesday of targeting vaccine development on behalf of the country’s intelligence service as part of a broader yearslong campaign of global cybertheft aimed at industries such as defense contractors, high-end manufacturing, and solar energy companies…” (Barnes, 7/21).

Washington Post: U.S. accuses China of sponsoring criminal hackers targeting coronavirus vaccine research
“…In an indictment unsealed in Spokane, Wash., the Justice Department charged two former engineering students with hacking companies engaged in high-tech manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and gaming software development, and with targeting dissidents, clergy, and human rights activists in the United States, China, and Hong Kong…” (Nakashima/Barrett, 7/21).

Additional coverage of the indictment is available from CNBC and Wall Street Journal.

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Pompeo Accuses WHO Of Being Political, Not Science-Based, Organization In Private U.K. Meeting

The Guardian: Mike Pompeo attacks WHO in private meeting during U.K. visit
“The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched an extraordinary attack on the World Health Organization during a private meeting in the U.K., accusing it of being in the pocket of China and responsible for ‘dead Britons’ who passed away during the pandemic. Pompeo told those present that he believed the WHO was ‘political not a science-based organization’ and accused its current Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of being too close to Beijing. Those present at the meeting on Tuesday said that Pompeo told his audience of 20 MPs and peers that he was saying ‘on a firm intelligence foundation, a deal was made’ with China to allow Tedros to win election in 2017…” (Sabbagh/Stewart, 7/21).

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COVID-19 Challenges Access To Health Care In Asia, Latin America; Lebanon's Hospitals Feel Strain Of Pandemic; Trump Endorses Masks, Says U.S. Coronavirus Outbreaks Will Get Worse

AFRICA

Nature: Ebola prepared these countries for coronavirus — but now even they are floundering (Maxmen, 7/21).

New Humanitarian: Coronavirus vaccine trials in South Africa no ‘magic bullet’ as cases soar (Oliver, 7/21).

ASIA

AP: Over 22% of people in Delhi have had virus, study indicates (Schmall/Ghosal, 7/21).

Bloomberg: Singapore Grapples With Deadly Dengue as Fever Rages Alongside Covid-19 (Wei/Varley, 7/20).

Devex: Q&A: Is ‘gross national happiness’ the key to Bhutan escaping the pandemic? (Politzer, 7/22).

The Guardian: ‘Coronavirus ruined everything’: the long wait for new limbs in Kurdistan (Edwards, 7/22).

The Telegraph: Pandemic prompts surge in child marriage and violence towards girls in Asia (Smith, 7/21).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Chatbots, motorbikes: Southeast Asia HIV centers adapt to coronavirus (Chandran, 7/21).

EUROPE

Reuters: Spain to give 1.7 billion euros in coronavirus aid to developing countries (7/21).

LATIN AMERICA

AP: Bolivia police recover 420 dead in possible COVID-19 cases (7/22).

AP: Pandemic poses challenges for Argentines seeking therapy (Calatrava, 7/21).

AP: PAHO waits for Nicaragua to approve visit by virus experts (7/21).

The Hill: Coronavirus shows no signs of slowing down in the Americas, WHO official says (Guzman, 7/21).

The Hill: Greta Thunberg is donating $114K to tackle the coronavirus in the Amazon (Guzman, 7/21).

NPR: Brazil Tops 80,000 COVID-19 Deaths As 2 Government Ministers Test Positive For Virus (Neuman, 7/21).

MIDDLE EAST

AP: Crisis hits Lebanon’s hospitals, among the best in Mideast (El Deeb, 7/22).

AP: Minister: Lebanon is nearing critical stage in virus cases (El Deeb, 7/21).

U.N. News: COVID-19 scapegoating triggers fresh displacement in Yemen, warns migration agency (7/21).

U.N. News: Israel-Palestine: Breakdown in cooperation over COVID, now putting lives at risk (7/21).

NORTH AMERICA

New York Times: Trump, in a Shift, Endorses Masks and Says Virus Will Get Worse (Baker, 7/21).

New York Times: Coronavirus Infections Much Higher Than Reported Cases in Parts of U.S., Study Shows (Mandavilli, 7/21).

STAT: Actual Covid-19 case count could be 6 to 24 times higher than official estimates, CDC study shows (Joseph, 7/21).

Washington Post: Trump says the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. will ‘get worse before it gets better’ (Wan et al., 7/21).

Washington Post: Former CDC chief: Most states fail to report data key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic (Sun, 7/21).

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IDSA Examines U.S. House Appropriations Bills' Proposed Funding For Science-Related Activities

Homeland Preparedness News: IDSA sees House Appropriations bills as promising start, still come up short amid pandemic
“With news that appropriations bills aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic had passed out of House committees this week, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) examined and declared the bills to provide critical resources, albeit with significant gaps and inadequate funding. This covers two pieces of legislation: a House Labor, Health and Human Services bill, and State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bills…” (Galford, 7/21).

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Foreign Aid Proposals Cut In Final E.U. Budget Deal

Devex: Foreign aid neglected in historic E.U. budget deal
“It was one giant leap for the European Union but only a small step for its spending abroad Tuesday, as national leaders reached a long-awaited deal to combine the bloc’s coronavirus response with its next seven-year budget. … Aid advocates were left disappointed, however, after €10.5 billion for development funding and €5 billion for humanitarian aid that were proposed by the commission as part of the pandemic recovery package in May disappeared amid a larger battle with frugal states. In the end, €70.8 billion was allocated to the budget’s main development tool, a reduction of 10.4% compared with the first proposal from the commission in May 2018…” (Chadwick, 7/22).

Additional coverage of the E.U. budget deal is available from Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

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Senior U.K. Members Of Parliament Back New Committee To Monitor Official Development Assistance

Devex: Exclusive: Senior U.K. MPs back new parliamentary committee to scrutinize ODA
“A cross-party group of influential U.K. parliamentarians has voiced its support for the creation of a new committee dedicated to monitoring official development assistance, in a major win for development insiders fighting for strong parliamentary scrutiny of aid. In a letter seen by Devex, the chair of the powerful Liaison Committee of politicians, Sir Bernard Jenkin, wrote to Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg last week, backing the creation of a new Official Development Assistance Committee, which would be responsible for scrutinizing ODA spending across government…” (Worley, 7/21).

Devex: DFID sees huge rise in reported sexual abuse cases (Worley, 7/22).

Devex: The real lessons the U.K. can learn from the AusAID merger (Worley, 7/21).

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New York Times Examines Feminist Foreign Policies In Sweden, Other Countries

New York Times: What Do Sweden and Mexico Have in Common? A Feminist Foreign Policy
“In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Chris Purdy, chief executive of one of the world’s largest providers of contraceptives and family planning services, DKT International, sent out an email asking for help. … ‘The Swedish government was the only one that came back to us immediately’ and agreed to provide DKT with $1.9 million, Mr. Purdy said. That infusion of cash was on top of the roughly $55 million that Sweden had already pledged to DKT in 2016 for a six-year period. Sweden’s focus on sexual and reproductive care in the midst of a crisis is an example of its feminist foreign policy — an approach, first adopted in 2014, that places women and girls at the center of almost every diplomatic decision the government makes, with the ultimate aim of advancing gender equality around the world. Six years and several raised eyebrows later, more countries are now following Sweden’s lead, raising the pressure on the United States to do the same…” (Gupta, 7/21).

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WHO Warns Of 'Serious Funding Gap' For New Ebola Outbreak In DRC

AP: WHO warns new Ebola outbreak in Congo faces funding gap
“The World Health Organization said Tuesday it is facing a ‘serious funding gap’ to battle the new outbreak of Ebola in remote corners of northern Congo amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.75 million raised so far will only last for a few more weeks, the WHO warned, adding that the response effort is particularly expensive because of how difficult it is to get health teams and supplies into the densely forested area…” (Okamba, 7/21).

The BMJ: Lessons from Ebola as DRC grapples with conflict, measles, and covid-19
“…DRC’s health system continues to be stretched. The country is struggling to control the world’s largest measles outbreak, which started in 2019 in the south east and has shown numbers exceeding the Ebola epidemic with around 7,000 deaths from over 375,000 confirmed cases. Children under 5 account for 74% of infections and nearly 9 in 10 deaths. And then there is covid-19…” (Adepoju, 7/21).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Q&A: Winnie Byanyima on internal reforms at UNAIDS (Ravelo, 7/22).

Science: Polio vaccination campaigns restart after modelers warn about risk of ‘explosive’ outbreaks (Roberts, 7/21).

Wall Street Journal: Data-Driven Website Aims to Help Global Agencies Make Decisions on Coronavirus Pandemic (Castellanos, 7/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including WHO Role, Trust In Health Experts, Data Availability

Globe and Mail: The World Health Organization plays a key role in Canada’s response to the pandemic
Peter A. Singer, special adviser to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (7/21).

New York Times: Will We Trust Health Experts When the Coronavirus Crisis Is Over?
Charlie Warzel, New York Times opinion writer at large (7/22).

New York Times: My Uncle Died of Covid-19 in America. In China, Would He Have Lived?
Yi Rao, molecular neurobiologist in China (7/22).

New York Times: We Searched for Covid-19 Data. Here’s What We Couldn’t Find.
Tom Frieden, president and chief executive of Resolve to Save Lives and former CDC director, and Cyrus Shahpar, director of the Prevent Epidemics team at Resolve to Save Lives and former director of the Global Rapid Response Team at the CDC (7/21).

POLITICO: Russia’s corona euphoria
Vijai Maheshwari, writer and entrepreneur based in Moscow (7/21).

Wall Street Journal: The Raid on Remdesivir
Editorial Board (7/21).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts, Podcasts, Resources Address Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Impacts On Women, Girls

BMJ Opinion: We need to develop a framework to help those most vulnerable from covid-19
Liza Morton, chartered counseling psychologist and teaching fellow at the University of Strathclyde (7/21).

BMJ Opinion: What we can learn from Taiwan’s response to the covid-19 epidemic
Po-Chang Lee, director general of the National Health Insurance Administration in the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare, and colleagues (7/21).

CSIS: Coronavirus Crisis Update: David Sanger, NYT, How Did We Get to Where We Are Today?
J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and H. Andrew Schwartz, chief communications officer at CSIS (July 2020).

CSIS: Coronavirus Crisis Update: Dr. Peter Hotez on America’s Harrowing Slide
J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and H. Andrew Schwartz, chief communications officer at CSIS (July 2020).

CSIS: “Competing with a Monster”: Women, Girls, and Covid-19 in South Africa
Janet Fleischman, senior associate (non-resident) with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (July 2020).

IMFBlog: The COVID-19 Gender Gap
Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, and colleagues (7/21).

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Blog Posts Discuss Strengthening Health Care Systems, Global Health Institutions, Progress Toward SDGs

Atlantic Council: Ukraine’s healthcare system is in critical condition again
Judy Twigg, professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University and expert on healthcare systems in the former Soviet Union (7/21).

BMJ Opinion: We should strengthen existing institutions rather than create a new international body for virus surveillance
Clare Wenham, assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics (7/21).

Brookings: How investing in health has a significant economic payoff for developing economies
Jaana Remes, economist and a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), and colleagues (7/21).

IntraHealth International: New Tool Helps Organizations Prepare for Africa’s Rapidly Evolving Health Work Landscape
Dai Hozumi, IntraHealth’s chief technical officer, and colleagues (7/21).

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Strengthening Fragile States: Why It Makes Sense to Invest in Global Health
Magdalena Baranowska, staff intern with the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program (7/21).

World Economic Forum: Europe is progressing most towards these U.N. Sustainability Goals: A report card for Europe
Sean Fleming, senior writer with Formative Content (7/21).

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From KFF

KFF, CSIS To Host Virtual Discussion On Outcomes of AIDS 2020 Conference

KFF: Online Event: Highlights from the Virtual AIDS 2020 Conference
On Friday, July 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET, KFF and the CSIS Global Health Policy Center will host a public event to discuss the outcomes of the AIDS 2020 Virtual Conference. The discussion will cover scientific developments, current HIV/AIDS funding levels, progress towards global targets, and the intersection of HIV and COVID-19. In addition, panelists will discuss the conference’s virtual platform and look forward to the next International AIDS Conference in 2022. The event will feature a panel discussion with Monica Gandhi, AIDS 2020 San Francisco Local Chair and Professor of Medicine and Associate Division Chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; Shannon Hader, Deputy Executive Director, Programme at UNAIDS; Jennifer Kates, Senior Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at KFF; and Greg Millett, Vice President and Director, Public Policy at amfAR. J. Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director of GHPC at CSIS, will moderate.

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KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of July 22, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/22).

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.

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