KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Recent AP Article Citing Development Initiatives Analysis On Aid Levels During COVID-19

Devex: Fact check: Has aid really gone down with the pandemic?
“Last week, an exclusive by Associated Press claimed that aid from top donors is dropping, ‘even as need soars.’ Citing an analysis from Development Initiatives, a respected U.K.-based consultancy, the story claimed that ‘Funding commitments, for the virus and otherwise, have dropped by a third from the same period last year.’ But is that true? … [E]ven assuming the data is accurate, AP’s interpretation is misleading…” (Alcega, 7/27).

Link to individual story

Nations, Individuals Should Adopt More Focused Prevention, Mitigation Strategies To Stop Coronavirus Transmission, WHO Says

U.N. News: We must all accept hard choices if we’re to beat COVID-19, urges WHO
“Governments everywhere should adopt a much more focused approach to stopping coronavirus transmission if they want to avoid having to impose sweeping lockdowns once again. That’s the message on Monday from the World Health Organization, (WHO), whose head of emergencies, Dr. Mike Ryan, likened fighting COVID-19 to using specialized tools for surgery, to ensure better outcomes for patients. The development comes as the WHO announced nearly 16 million cases of reported infection worldwide and more than 640,000 deaths…” (7/27).

Additional coverage of the WHO comments and new restrictions amid a second wave is available from Reuters, U.N. News, and VOA News.

Link to individual story

Pandemic-Related Restrictions Leading To Increase In Child Hunger, Wasting, Death, Lancet Analysis, UNICEF Warn

AP: Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 child deaths each month
“…All around the world, the coronavirus and its restrictions are pushing already hungry communities over the edge, cutting off meager farms from markets and isolating villages from food and medical aid. Virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children a month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the United Nations shared with the Associated Press ahead of its publication in the Lancet medical journal. Further, more than 550,000 additional children each month are being struck by what is called wasting, according to the U.N. — malnutrition that manifests in spindly limbs and distended bellies. Over a year, that’s up 6.7 million from last year’s total of 47 million. Wasting and stunting can permanently damage children physically and mentally, transforming individual tragedies into a generational catastrophe…” (Hinnant/Mednick, 7/27).

Additional coverage of the report is available from AP and The Telegraph.

Link to individual story

Africa CDC Director Calls On Continent To Invest In Human Capital In COVID-19 Response; Duterte Employs Drug War Tactics In Coronavirus Mitigation; Yemen Health Care System Collapses Amid Pandemic, Cholera; U.S. National Security Adviser Tests Positive

AFRICA

Al Jazeera: Morocco bans travel to and from major cities to curb coronavirus (7/27).

BBC News: Coronavirus: How fast is it spreading in Africa? (Mwai/Giles, 7/27).

PRI: Africa must invest ‘in human capital’ to fight the coronavirus, says Africa CDC director (7/27).

ASIA

AP: Volunteers came to the rescue as virus raged in Kyrgyzstan (Litvinova, 7/28).

AP: Head of China CDC gets injected with experimental vaccine (Kang, 7/28).

AP: 80,000 people fleeing Vietnamese city after new virus cases (Dinh, 7/27).

The Hill: Hong Kong banning in-person dining, limiting gatherings to two people (Budryk, 7/27).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Is Back With a Vengeance in Places Where It Had All but Vanished (Wen/Wang, 7/27).

Wall Street Journal: Philippines’s Duterte Asks China for Access to Successful Coronavirus Vaccine (Mandhana, 7/27).

Washington Post: Duterte turns to drug war tactics to fight pandemic in the Philippines (Cabato, 7/28).

Washington Post: Hong Kong was a pandemic poster child. Now it’s a cautionary tale (Mahtani, 7/28).

EUROPE

New York Times: Boris Johnson’s New Tactic Against the Virus: Urge Britons to Lose Weight (Schaverien, 7/27).

Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Cases Surge in Spain, Threatening Tourism Recovery (Legorano et al., 7/27).

Washington Post: Boris Johnson says ‘I was too fat’ as he launches anti-obesity campaign (Adam/Booth, 7/27).

LATIN AMERICA

Wall Street Journal: In Nicaragua, Doctors Who Spoke Up About Covid-19 Also Lost Their Jobs (de Córdoba, 7/27).

MIDDLE EAST

The BMJ: Covid-19: Deaths in Yemen are five times global average as healthcare collapses (Looi, 7/27).

The Guardian: Agencies fear hidden cholera deaths in Yemen as Covid-19 overwhelms clinics (Beaumont, 7/28).

Xinhua: WHO warns of increase in COVID-19 infections in Iraq during Eid al-Adha holiday (7/27).

NORTH AMERICA

CNN: Senate GOP candidates attacked Obama over Ebola but defend Trump on coronavirus pandemic (Raju/Rogers, 7/27).

The Hill: Death toll rises 55 percent for most of Mexico amid outbreak, officials say (Budryk, 7/27).

Los Angeles Times: Trump’s national security adviser tests positive for COVID-19 (Bierman/Megerian, 7/27).

Reuters: Mexican state health minister dies after being hospitalized for COVID-19 (Gottesdiener, 7/26).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Coronavirus Cases Rise at Slowest Pace in Weeks (Prang/Calfas, 7/27).

Washington Post: One question still dogs Trump: Why not try harder to solve the coronavirus crisis? (Parker/Rucker, 7/27).

Link to individual story

Frontline Health Workers Should Be Prioritized For Any SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine, International Council Of Nurses Says

Reuters: Health workers should be top priority for vaccines — nurses’ group
“Nurses and other health workers must be top priority for the first COVID-19 vaccines, especially as they are often left without enough protection against the virus in their frontline jobs, the International Council of Nurses said on Monday. … WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said last week that it was drawing up a framework to ensure ‘fair and equitable access’ would give priority to three groups including frontline workers such as medics and the police…” (Mantovani, 7/27).

Link to individual story

Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Biden Calls On Trump To De-Politicize Coronavirus Vaccine R&D; Center For American Progress Says U.S. Vaccine Development Process 'Haphazard'

NBC News: Biden demands Trump let coronavirus vaccine process happen ‘free of political pressure’
“Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that President Donald Trump must allow the coronavirus vaccine development process to play out ‘free of political pressure’ and called on the president to adhere to three rules as scientists rush to develop one. Dubbing them the ‘three principles of integrity’ in developing a vaccine, Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, demanded that Trump allow scientists and public health experts to make decisions on safety and efficacy — not politicians…” (Edelman, 7/27).

STAT: Democratic group warns that the U.S. is unprepared to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine
“A Democratic group warned Tuesday that the U.S. is fundamentally unprepared to manufacture and distribute hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses when one becomes available, urging Congress to step up preparedness efforts and spend $40 billion to quickly increase manufacturing and distribution capacity. In a 20-page report published by the Center for American Progress, two leading Democratic health policy figures called the current vaccine manufacturing setup ‘haphazard’…” (Facher, 7/28).

Additional coverage of the U.S. government’s role in coronavirus vaccine development is available from Al Jazeera, Homeland Preparedness News, PBS NewsHour, U.S. News & World Report, and VOA News.

Link to individual story

E.U. Negotiations With Drug Companies Over Potential Coronavirus Vaccines Struggle To Reach Deal, Sources Say

Reuters: Exclusive: E.U. talks with Pfizer, Sanofi, J&J on COVID vaccines hit snags — sources
“European efforts to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson are mired in wrangles over price, payment method, and potential liability costs, three E.U. officials told Reuters. … Despite the urgency to seal deals amid a global race to secure the most promising shots, the E.U. is struggling to reach swift agreements, said the officials, who are involved in the talks, and declined to be named because the negotiations are confidential…” (Guarascio et al., 7/27).

Link to individual story

2 Experimental Coronavirus Vaccines Move To Large-Scale Trials In Final Testing Phase

NPR: 2 Coronavirus Vaccines Move To Final Testing Phase
“Two companies announced [Monday] that they are beginning widespread testing of potential coronavirus vaccines. One comes from a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. biotech company Moderna. The other is from a collaboration between the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German biotech company BioNTech. Each trial needs 30,000 volunteers…” (Palca, 7/27).

Additional coverage of the vaccine trials and related news is available from AP, Business Insider, Financial Times, The Hill, Newsweek, New York Times, Science Speaks, STAT, and Wall Street Journal (2).

Link to individual story

Global Prevalence Of Hepatitis B Dropped Under 1% In 2019, But Vaccine Coverage At Birth Uneven Across Regions, Low In Many African Countries

Devex: Why is hepatitis B vaccine coverage at birth so low in many African countries?
“More children are receiving the hepatitis B vaccine today, but coverage, especially at birth, remains uneven across regions. Coverage of the first critical dose, which the World Health Organization says should be given within 24 hours from birth, is only at 43% globally. The proportion is even lower when broken down regionally, with only 6% in the countries that are part of the WHO regional office for Africa…” (Ravelo, 7/28).

U.N. News: Spread of hepatitis B in children under five, lowest in decades: WHO
“The global prevalence of potentially deadly hepatitis B in children under age five dropped to under one percent in 2019 — down from five percent in the pre-vaccine decades between the 1980s and early 2000s, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday…” (7/27).

Link to individual story

More News In Global Health

Houston Chronicle: WHO unveils Florence, the world’s first digital health worker to combat smoking and COVID-19 myths (Stewart, 7/27).

Devex: South Sudan pilot program links humanitarians with local faith groups (Jerving, 7/28).

Devex: Has water as a human right moved from a resolution to reality? (Root, 7/28).

The Guardian: ‘We had to eat our seeds for planting’: 10 million in Sudan facing food shortages (Salih, 7/28).

New York Times: The Doctor Behind the Disputed Covid Data (Gabler/Rabin, 7/27).

VOA: Breakthrough Research Change the Game For Potential Malaria Vaccine & Other Diseases (7/27).

VOA: Study: Climate, Population Density Key to Mosquitoes Biting People (7/27).

Link to individual story

Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19, Including Vaccine Development, Nationalism, Hesitancy; Market-Creating Innovations; Hospital Data Reporting

The Conversation: Coronavirus: how countries aim to get the vaccine first by cutting opaque supply deals
Duncan Matthews, professor of intellectual property law at Queen Mary University of London (7/27).

Devex: To help nations recover from COVID-19, jump-start development with market-creating innovations
Rich Alton, director of emerging research, and Efosa Ojomo, senior research fellow, both at the Christensen Institute (7/27).

STAT: Science alone cannot beat the pandemic. We also need outreach about a Covid-19 vaccine
Bill Frist, former Republican Senate majority leader from Tennessee, chair of the executive council of Cressey & Company, senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and co-chair of the center’s work on health innovation; Richard Pan, pediatrician representing Sacramento in the California State Senate and chair of the Senate Committee on Health; and Max G. Bronstein, founder of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance (7/27).

USA TODAY: We are worried that hospital COVID-19 data no longer goes to the apolitical CDC: Doctors
19 doctors and a nurse practitioner at Massachusetts General Hospital, all fellows with the OpEd Project (7/28).

Washington Post: Let’s throw the kitchen sink at covid-19 and get back to normal by October
Editorial Board (7/27).

Link to individual story

Opinion Pieces Address U.S. Decision To Withdraw From WHO, Yemen Humanitarian Crisis, Case For Independent Public Health Agency, Climate Change

The BMJ: U.S. decision to pull out of World Health Organization
Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health, and Lois King, PhD candidate, both in the Global Health Governance Program at the University of Edinburgh (7/24).

Devex: The time to step up for the people of Yemen is now
Janez Lenarčič, European commissioner for crisis management in the Von der Leyen Commission (7/24).

The Hill: We need an independent public health agency
Christopher Robertson, author and N. Neal Pike scholar and professor of law at Boston University, and Richard Carmona, 17th surgeon general of the United States and distinguished professor at the University of Arizona (7/27).

Wall Street Journal: Snooze the Climate Alarms
Walter Russell Mead, James Clarke Chace professor of foreign affairs and the humanities at Bard College, Ravenel B. Curry III distinguished fellow in strategy and statesmanship at the Hudson Institute, and the Wall Street Journal’s Global View columnist (7/27).

Link to individual story

From the Global Health Policy Community

Blogs, Releases Address Impact Of COVID-19 On AIDS, TB, Malaria, Food Security Responses, Other Issues Related To Pandemic

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: The Fatal Consequences of COVID-19 on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Roopa Darwar, contributor to Friends of the Global Fight (7/27).

PAHO: PAHO Director featured in new COVID-19 Exemplars in Global Health program (7/27).

UNAIDS: Virtual meeting on the impact of the COVID-19 on HIV programs in the ECOWAS region (7/27).

UNICEF: An additional 6.7 million children under 5 could suffer from wasting this year due to COVID-19 (7/27).

World Economic Forum: Bill Gates: How HIV/AIDS prepared us to tackle COVID-19
Harry Kretchmer, senior writer with Formative Content (7/27).

Link to individual story

Blog Posts, Releases Address U.K. Aid, AMR, Ethics In UHC, Women's, Girls' Health Care In Yemen

Center for Global Development: This Is the Perfect Moment to Redesign U.K. Aid Spend on Research
Euan Ritchie, research associate with CGD Europe, and Charles Kenny, director of technology and development and senior fellow with CGD (7/23).

Pew Charitable Trusts: The U.S. Is Not Prepared to Combat ‘Existential Threat’ of Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs
Kathy Talkington, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ health programs (7/27).

U.K. Government: U.K. and India join forces on new £8 million research (7/28).

UNFPA Yemen: European Union provides vital funding to sustain life-saving services for women and girls in Yemen (7/28).

World Bank Blogs: Ethics Play Key Role in Universal Health Care Push
Muhammad Ali Pate, global director of health, nutrition and population at the World Bank and director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), and Elena Sterlin, senior manager for global health and education at IFC (7/27).

WHO: World Hepatitis Day: fast-tracking the elimination of hepatitis B among mothers and children (7/27).

Link to individual story

Friends Of The Global Fight President/CEO Addresses Lack Of Support For Global Fund In Senate COVID-19 Supplemental Bill

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Statement on Absence of Support for the Global Fund in Senate COVID-19 Supplemental
In this statement, Chris Collins, president and CEO of Friends of the Global Fight, addresses the absence of support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the Senate COVID-19 supplemental bill, saying, “America will never be safe from COVID-19 if the pandemic rages overseas, yet the Senate bill provides very limited funding for the global response, and zero funding for the Global Fund. If the final supplemental bill takes a similar approach there would be tragic consequences…” (7/27).

Link to individual story

From the U.S. Government

White House Fact Sheet Discusses U.S. Efforts To Develop COVID-19 Vaccine, Therapeutics, Diagnostics

White House: President Trump Is Leading a Once-in-a-Generation Effort to Ensure Americans Have Access to a COVID-19 Vaccine
This fact sheet discusses U.S. efforts to “ensure safe vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics are developed, manufactured, and distributed in unprecedented time and scale in response to COVID-19” (7/27).

Link to individual story

NIH Launches $58M Initiative To Advance Data Science, Health Innovation Across Africa

NIH: NIH to invest $58M to catalyze data science and health research innovation in Africa
“The National Institutes of Health launched a $58 million initiative to advance data science, catalyze innovation, and spur health discoveries across Africa. The new five-year program, Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa), will leverage existing data and technologies to develop solutions for the continent’s most pressing clinical and public health problems…” (7/27).

Link to individual story

USAID Provides 88K Insecticide-Treated Nets To Prevent Malaria In Laos

USAID: U.S. Provides 88,000 Additional Mosquito Nets To Prevent Malaria In Laos
“Continuing the United States’ longstanding support of the Lao health sector, U.S. Ambassador to Laos Dr. Peter M. Haymond presented 88,000 specially-treated mosquito nets funded by the United States to Vice Minister of Health Dr. Phouthone Muangpak at a ceremony in Vientiane on July 17. These mosquito nets, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be distributed to Lao families in areas where the number of malaria cases remains particularly high…” (7/27).

Link to individual story

From KFF

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

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of July 28, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/28).

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.

Link to individual story