KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global COVID-19 Cases Pass 15M But Could Be Much Higher; UNDP Recommends Temporary Basic Income To Help Slow Disease's Spread

Al Jazeera: Global COVID-19 cases could be 12 times higher than reported
“The number of coronavirus cases continues to grow around the world. More than 15 million people have now been infected globally. But researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say the true death toll could be 12 times higher…” (Elizondo, 7/22).

CIDRAP News: Global COVID-19 total tops 15 million cases
“The global COVID-19 total passed 15 million cases, just 4 days after topping 14 million, fueled mainly by surges in several countries in the Americas and India, plus brisk activity in hot spots such as South Africa and Russia. The pandemic total rose to 15,033,861 cases, and 618,994 people have died from their infections, according to the Johns Hopkins online dashboard…” (Schnirring, 7/22).

U.N. News: ‘Temporary Basic Income’ could slow COVID surge, provide lifeline for world’s poorest
“The immediate introduction of a Temporary Basic Income for the world’s poorest people could slow the current surge in COVID-19 and enable close to three billion people to stay at home, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report released on Thursday. ‘Temporary Basic Income: Protecting Poor and Vulnerable People in Developing Countries,’ estimates that it would cost governments upwards of $199 billion per month, to provide what UNDP describes as ‘a time-bound, guaranteed basic income, to the 2.7 billion people living below or just above the poverty line in 132 developing countries’…” (7/22).

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U.K.'s Johnson, Global Health, Development Experts React To Pompeo's Claim WHO Leader 'Bought' By China

The BMJ: Covid-19: A world without WHO is a world in danger, experts warn
“The World Health Organization’s lack of power to ensure its members follow its advice and problems with funding may have hampered its response to the covid-19 pandemic, but accusations that it has not been transparent or is China-centric are unfounded, experts have said…” (Mahase, 7/22).

Devex: ‘We need a strong WHO,’ says Trump’s former USAID chief
“The former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development told Devex he was disappointed to see the agency left off the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which President Donald Trump assembled in late January. Mark Green, who now leads the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Washington, announced his resignation from USAID less than two months later, on March 16. … Asked whether he thinks withdrawal from WHO represents an evidence-based decision on the part of the Trump administration, Green told Devex he believes that ‘there is broad recognition — not just here in the U.S., but elsewhere — that we need to build institutions capable of leading us in the future, that WHO needs to be strengthened. But all of those things, I think, are better dealt with in calmer times’…” (Igoe, 7/23).

The Independent: Boris Johnson refuses to back WHO chief after U.S. claims China ‘bought’ his election
“Boris Johnson has refused to back the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) after Washington claimed he had been ‘bought’ by China. The prime minister’s spokesman also swerved a question about whether the U.K. believed the election of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had been ‘rigged’ — as alleged by Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state. Instead, he said the government was pushing for ‘reform’ of the WHO, although — unlike Donald Trump — not withdrawing funding…” (Merrick, 7/22).

The Telegraph: In the eye of the storm: how WHO leader refuses to be blown off course
“…Part of the problem stems from the rules governing WHO — voted on by member states including the U.S. … So, if it wants to keep a nation harboring a dangerous pathogen on side it must be diplomatic in its dealings. It also cannot release any communications with member states without that country’s say so. Another problem may be the opaque leadership election process for the WHO top job. Member states vote in a secret ballot and the story goes that developing countries were strong-armed into voting for Dr. Tedros by China, who promised them financial largesse…” (Gulland, 7/22).

Xinhua: Renowned U.K. expert on global health denounces Pompeo’s WHO attack
“…David Nabarro, the British candidate who ran against Tedros for the role of WHO director-general in 2017, told the Daily Telegraph that he has been working with Tedros on COVID-19 since Jan. 31. ‘In all the time that I’ve worked with him since then I’ve seen him being fair-minded and responsive to all nations, and concentrating on what matters the most, which is getting on top of this pandemic,’ he was quoted by the British newspaper as saying. ‘I just don’t recognize the kind of remarks made by the U.S. Secretary of State,’ he added…” (7/23).

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U.S. Agrees To $1.95B Deal With Pfizer, BioNTech To Provide Initial 100M Doses Of Successful Coronavirus Vaccine; NIH To Begin Multiple Large Clinical Trials For Vaccines, Therapies

The Hill: U.S. negotiates 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer that will be free to Americans
“Pfizer and BioNTech, a German biotech company, announced Wednesday that the U.S. has reached a $1.95 billion deal with them for an initial order of 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine. According to the announcement, Americans will receive the vaccine for free. The United States, which has a population of more than 300 million people, could get up to 500 million more doses of the vaccine…” (Moreno, 7/22).

New York Times: Pfizer Gets $1.95 Billion to Produce Coronavirus Vaccine by Year’s End
“…The contract is part of what the White House calls the Warp Speed project, an effort to drastically shorten the time it would take to manufacture and distribute a working vaccine. So far, the United States has put money into more than a half dozen efforts, hoping to build manufacturing ability for an eventual breakthrough…” (Weiland et al., 7/22).

STAT: NIH to start ‘flurry’ of large studies of potential Covid-19 treatments
“The National Institutes of Health is preparing to launch a ‘flurry’ of large clinical trials to test new approaches to treating Covid-19, according to the agency’s director, hoping to expand what for now remains a limited arsenal of therapies to help people with the disease. In an interview, NIH Director Francis Collins characterized the studies as ‘really well-powered, rigorously designed clinical trials’…” (Herper, 7/23).

Additional coverage of the U.S. government’s deal with Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as coverage of other vaccine-related news, is available from AP, CIDRAP News, CNN, Homeland Preparedness News, POLITICO, Reuters (2) (3), VOA News, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

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Bill Gates Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Vaccine Development, U.S. Actions In CBS Interview

CBS News: Multiple vaccine doses could be necessary to protect from coronavirus, Bill Gates says
“Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Wednesday that people could need multiple doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine to immunize themselves from the coronavirus. If necessary, the multiple doses could require more than 7 billion vaccinations to be administered worldwide. … The billionaire philanthropist, who has donated $300 million towards the global effort to combat COVID-19 through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell that deploying a coronavirus vaccine will require a global effort…” (McNamara, 7/23).

Additional coverage of Bill Gates’s CBS interview and the work of the Gates Foundation is available from CNBC, Forbes Africa, and GeekWire.

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Flu Cases Down In Southern Hemisphere Amid Pandemic; Madagascar Hospitals Overwhelmed With Coronavirus Patients While Yemen Sees Few Full Beds; U.S. Hospitalizations Close In On April Peak; Arab Nations Should Look To Resolve Conflicts, U.N. SG Says

AFRICA

BBC News: Coronavirus: Madagascar hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ (7/22).

Bloomberg: South Africa Secures $304 Million Virus Loan From AfDB (Naidoo, 7/22).

Washington Post: Nigerian aid workers rushed to help people during the pandemic. They were executed on video (Paquette/Alfa, 7/22).

Xinhua: Chinese embassy hands over medical supplies to Kenya to combat COVID-19 (7/23).

ASIA

The Telegraph: Mass exodus from Dhaka as the economic impact of Covid-19 forces Bangladeshis to flee cities (Savage/Farhad, 7/22).

Washington Post: Australians are ignoring self-isolation guidelines. Coronavirus cases are climbing (O’Grady/Hassan, 7/22).

EUROPE

Bloomberg: Sweden Says Covid Immunity Can Last 6 Months After Infection (Rolander, 7/21).

Devex: #SmartDevelopmentHack: Germany searches for COVID-19 solutions (Green, 7/23).

Wall Street Journal: Italy Approves Coronavirus Spending Package (Legorano, 7/22).

LATIN AMERICA

Bloomberg: Brazil Reports Record Covid Cases Days After WHO Sees Plateau (Leite, 7/22).

PRI: Why is Brazil’s Bolsonaro peddling hydroxychloroquine despite the science? (Fox, 7/22).

Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Measures Have All but Wiped Out the Flu in the Southern Hemisphere (Luhnow et al., 7/22).

MIDDLE EAST

Devex: COVID-19 is spreading in Yemen. Why aren’t hospital beds full? (Lieberman, 7/23).

U.N. News: COVID-19 provides opportunity to resolve conflicts, address weaknesses across Arab region: U.N. chief (7/23).

U.N. News: Iran urged to release rights activist with COVID-19 symptoms ‘before it is too late’ (7/22).

NORTH AMERICA

Bloomberg: Months Into Pandemic, U.S. Still Can’t Get Speedy Testing Right (Diallo et al., 7/22).

CNN: Trump defends solo news conferences without Fauci or Birx (Klein et al., 7/22).

The Hill: Fauci on coronavirus: ‘I don’t really see us eradicating it’ (Hellmann, 7/22).

The Hill: Gottlieb says U.S. could hit 300K COVID-19 deaths by end of year (Johnson, 7/22).

New York Times: U.S. Hospitalizations for the Coronavirus Near April Peak (Bogel-Burroughs et al., 7/22).

PBS NewsHour: U.S. must collect this data in order to contain pandemic, former CDC director says (Woodruff, 7/22).

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News Outlets Discuss Longevity Of Coronavirus Antibodies, Likelihood Of Reinfection

AP: Virus antibodies fade fast but not necessarily protection
“New research suggests that antibodies the immune system makes to fight the new coronavirus may only last a few months in people with mild illness, but that doesn’t mean protection also is gone or that it won’t be possible to develop an effective vaccine…” (Marchione, 7/22).

New York Times: Can You Get Covid-19 Again? It’s Very Unlikely, Experts Say
“…It may be possible for the coronavirus to strike the same person twice, but it’s highly unlikely that it would do so in such a short window or to make people sicker the second time, [some experts] said. What’s more likely is that some people have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after their initial exposure…” (Mandavilli, 7/22).

NPR: Studies Suggest Immunity To The Coronavirus Is Likely To Be Short Term
“Most people who get sick with COVID-19 develop antibodies which help them ward off the disease. Scientists can’t say for sure whether those antibodies will protect people from re-infection or how long they persist. NPR science correspondent Richard Harris looked into the latest studies on this subject and what they could mean for a vaccine…” (Harris, 7/22).

Washington Post: Can you get coronavirus twice? Doctors are unsure even as anecdotal reports mount.
“…There is still not enough evidence or sufficient time since the virus first struck to draw firm conclusions about how people develop immunity to covid-19, how long it might last — or what might make it less robust in some individuals than in others…” (Johnson/Cha, 7/22).

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Donor Government Funding For HIV In LMICs Down In 2019 From Previous Year, KFF/UNAIDS Report Shows

POZ: HIV Funding From Donor Governments Is Nearly the Same as a Decade Ago
“Last year, governments donated $7.8 billion in funds to battle HIV in low- and middle-income countries, which represents [an almost] $200 million reduction from the previous year and is nearly the same amount from a decade ago, according to a new report from Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). … [I]n 2019, the United States donated $5.7 billion, making it the largest donor relative to its size…” (Straube, 7/22).

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U.K. Aid Budget To Be Cut By $3.7B This Year Amid Economic Fallout Related To COVID-19 Pandemic

Devex: U.K. aid to be cut by £2.9B this year
“The U.K.’s aid budget is to be cut by £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion) this year, as the government grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. While reductions in spending were expected — the U.K. aid budget is tied to 0.7% of gross national income, which is forecast to shrink — the cuts are deeper than some anticipated, amounting to around 20% of the annual aid budget…” (Worley, 7/22).

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U.S. House Democrats Call For Resignation Of USAID Political Appointee Over Discriminatory Comments; USAID Staff Also Express Concerns

The Hill: House Democrats call for resignation of USAID political appointee over remarks about refugees, transgender people
“House Democrats are calling for the resignation of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) political appointee over her ‘history of homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic rhetoric.’ In a letter addressed to USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa, Democrats on the House Foreign Relations Committee pointed to tweets reported by CNN and other outlets in which deputy White House liaison Merritt Corrigan made disparaging comments about refugees and transgender people. The lawmakers argue that Corrigan’s words go against USAID’s policy of promoting ‘a nondiscriminatory and inclusive approach to development.’ USAID employees have brought up concerns about Corrigan’s statements, Axios reported Wednesday…” (Moreno, 7/22).

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War-Torn Yemen Faces Acute Food Insecurity, Particularly In Southern Areas, U.N. Agencies Warn

AP: U.N. agencies warn of more food shortages in war-torn Yemen
“U.N. agencies warned Wednesday that food shortages will rise sharply in parts of war-torn Yemen in the next six months, mainly because of the overall economic decline and the pandemic that has ripped through the Arab world’s poorest country…” (Magdy, 7/22).

The Guardian: ‘Open your eyes’: Yemen on brink of famine again, U.N. agencies warn
“…The World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and UNICEF say that the percentage of the population predicted to face acute food insecurity in southern areas of the country will rise from 25% to 40% by the end of the year. … The warning follows the latest integrated food security phase classification (IPC) analysis released by the U.N. agencies…” (Beaumont, 7/22).

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More News In Global Health

Borgen Magazine: Aid Efforts to Support Healthcare in Venezuela (Wallace, 7/22).

Devex: Does WASH need a global leader? (Root, 7/23).

Devex: DFAT data insights: Funding COVID-19 (Cornish, 7/22).

Devex: How mapping skills can drive progress on the SDGs (Cheney, 7/22).

The Economist: The hunt for the origins of SARS-CoV-2 will look beyond China (7/22).

The Guardian: ‘We were beaten’: 20 LGBTQ+ Ugandans file lawsuit over alleged torture (McCool, 7/22).

IPS: Inadequate Water & Sanitation Threatens Women’s & Girls’ Development in Senegal (Paul, 7/22).

New Humanitarian: Language changed as leaked report into Congo aid corruption made public (Kleinfeld, 7/22).

New York Times: Gut Microbes Might Keep Malnourished Children From Growing (Wu, 7/22).

NPR: Can Masks Save Us From More Lockdowns? Here’s What The Science Says (Aizenman, 7/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Address U.S. Response, Animal Research, Country Debt, Other COVID-19 Topics

Devex: Opinion: Focusing on rebuilding businesses after COVID-19
Liz Lloyd, chief impact officer at CDC Group (7/23).

The Hill: Torturing fewer animals will mean burying fewer people
David N. Cassuto, professor of law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, and Stephen Wells, executive director and CEO of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (7/22).

The Hill: It’s time for Trump administration doctors to speak up — whatever the consequences
Norbert Goldfield, practicing internist and founder of Ask Nurses and Doctors, and colleagues (7/22).

IPS: Covid-19 Compounds Developing Country Debt Burdens
Anis Chowdhury, adjunct professor at Western Sydney University & University of New South Wales in Australia, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former economics professor and former U.N. assistant secretary general for economic development (7/23).

NEJM: Childhood Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome — A New Challenge in the Pandemic
Michael Levin, professor of pediatrics and international child health at Imperial College London (7/23).

Scientific American: What AIDS Taught Us about Dealing with COVID-19
William A. Haseltine, chair and president of ACCESS Health International (7/22).

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Opinions Address U.S. WHO Withdrawal, Women's Health, AIDS 2020 Highlights, Other Topics

Al Jazeera: Why ‘pro-life’ activists won’t protect women during childbirth
Claire Provost, global investigations editor at openDemocracy, and Inge Snip, health journalism fellow at openDemocracy’s Tracking the Backlash project (7/22).

The Conversation: AIDS conference: COVID-19, big breakthroughs and missed targets
Linda-Gail Bekker, professor of medicine and deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town (7/22).

Forbes: Burnout, A Silent Crisis In Global Health
Madhukar Pai, Canada research chair of epidemiology and global health at McGill University and director of the McGill International Tuberculosis Centre (7/20).

The Guardian: Donald Trump’s assault on the WHO is deeply worrying for global health
Peter Beaumont, senior reporter on The Guardian’s Global Development desk (7/22).

The Hill: Africa is on the 2020 political agenda — now make it count
K. Riva Levinson, president and CEO of KRL International LLC (7/20).

Financial Times: Why medicines must be tested in the developing world
David Pilling, Africa editor of the Financial Times (7/23).

IPS: Involve Marginalized Groups to Make Food Systems More Climate-Resilient
Nout van der Vaart, advocacy officer for Hivos’ Sustainable Diets for All (7/23).

The Lancet Global Health: Headway and hindrances for sexual and reproductive health and rights
Editorial Board (August 2020).

Ms. Magazine: Progress Towards Contraceptive Access in the Philippines
Susan M. Blaustein, founder and executive director of WomenStrong International (7/20).

Vox: Why the next president should establish a Department of Climate
Allison Crimmins, climate scientist in Washington, D.C. (7/21).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blogs, U.N. Agency Releases Address Women's Health, Domestic Workers' Rights, Vaccine Delivery, Other COVID-19 Issues

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: COVID-19 Puts More Women and Girls in Danger from Abusers
Mariana Andreu, IntraHealth UNC Summer Fellow (7/22).

U.N.: U.N. urges protection of domestic workers’ rights during COVID-19 pandemic (July 2020).

UNICEF: Innovative freight solutions to deliver vaccines, despite COVID-19 disruptions (7/22).

World Bank Blogs: A strong COVID-19 response, and a road to recovery
Axel van Trotsenburg, managing director of operations at the World Bank (7/22).

WHO: New COVID-19 Law Lab to provide vital legal information and support for the global COVID-19 response (7/22).

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From the U.S. Government

State Department Releases Joint Statement Of Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group

U.S. Department of State: Joint Statement of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Steering Group
The U.S. Department of State released a joint statement from the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Steering Group. According to the statement, “The United States remains firmly committed to achieving a world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats, and is proud to join the multisectoral and multi-stakeholder effort in achieving sustainable and measurable results toward GHSA 2024 targets for building and maintaining health security capacities” (7/23).

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CDC Newsletter Highlights 40th Anniversary of Field Epidemiology Training Program

CDC: CDC Around the World
The latest issue of CDC’s “Around the World” newsletter highlights the 40th anniversary of the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in numerous articles (July 2020).

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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 23, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/23).

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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