KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

COVID-19 Pandemic Not Seasonal But 'One Big Wave,' WHO Says, Urging More Measures To Mitigate Spread As Some Reopened Countries Witness Rise In Cases

Reuters: WHO says COVID-19 pandemic is ‘one big wave,’ not seasonal
“A World Health Organization official on Tuesday described the COVID-19 pandemic as ‘one big wave’ and warned against complacency in the northern hemisphere summer since the infection does not share influenza’s tendency to follow seasons…” (Farge, 7/28).

U.N. News: COVID-19 is not just seasonal, cautions WHO, as ‘first wave’ continues
“The COVID-19 virus is likely not impacted by the changing seasons like other respiratory diseases, the U.N. health agency said on Tuesday, before urging much greater respect for physical distancing measures to stop it spreading…” (7/28).

Washington Post: Coronavirus makes a comeback around the world
“An unforeseen summer surge of coronavirus cases in countries that had seemingly quelled their outbreaks is helping to drive the unrelenting growth of the global pandemic, undercutting predictions that a ‘second wave’ would not occur until the fall. Japan, Israel, Lebanon, and Hong Kong are among dozens of places reporting record numbers of new cases in recent days, many weeks after they had crushed the curve of infections, reopened their economies, and moved on. And in some countries that had brought numbers down, notably in Europe, the reopening of borders, bars, and nightclubs is being blamed for a small but noticeable increase in cases…” (Sly et al., 7/29).

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U.S. Senate's COVID-19 Supplemental Funding Bill Contains $4B For Global Response, No Additional Money For Global Fund, Disappointing Development Experts

Devex: U.S. Senate COVID-19 funding bill includes $4B for global response
“The U.S. Senate’s coronavirus supplemental funding bill unveiled Monday includes only about $4.4 billion for global COVID-19 relief efforts, far less than advocates had pushed to include. Development experts have been pushing for about $20 billion in funding for the global response in this next — and potentially final — supplemental COVID-19 funding bill. … Some advocates had been pushing for $4 billion in funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria alone, but it received no funding in this bill…” (Saldinger, 7/29).

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U.K., U.S. Agree To Deals With Pharma Companies To Purchase Any Successful Coronavirus Vaccines; Pfizer Negotiating With E.U. On Vaccine Contract; Media Outlets Report On Other COVID-19 R&D News

Financial Times: U.K. strikes deal for 60m Covid-19 vaccine doses with Sanofi and GSK
“The U.K. has agreed to buy up to 60m doses of a vaccine being developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline if the companies are able to prove its efficacy against Covid-19 in clinical trials to start in September. Financial details of the accord were not disclosed in a joint statement from the companies on Wednesday…” (Abboud, 7/29).

Homeland Preparedness News: U.S. strikes $1.95 billion deal with Pfizer, BioNTech for COVID-19 vaccine candidate
“Up to 600 million doses of a vaccine candidate produced by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech could be acquired by the United States government under a deal penned this week. All of this would be conditional on the vaccine’s successful manufacture and either Emergency Use Authorization or licensure approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but as of now, the U.S. has committed to production and delivery of 100 million doses of the candidate, BNT162…” (Galford, 7/22).

Reuters: Pfizer CEO says negotiating with E.U. on contract for COVID-19 vaccine: interview
“Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. is in concurrent talks with the European Union as well as several of its member states to sell them the COVID-19 vaccine candidate it is developing, Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in an interview on Tuesday…” (Erman/O’Donnell, 7/28).

Business Insider: How Moderna’s CEO expects the next 6 months to go in the race for a coronavirus vaccine (Dunn, 7/28).

CNBC: Even with vaccine, ‘We will be dealing with this forever’: Virus experts Frieden, Osterholm (Rosenbaum, 7/28).

CNN: Exclusive: Russia claims it’s on track to approve Covid-19 vaccine by mid-August. But speed of process raises questions (Chance, 7/29).

DW: Germany: Coronavirus vaccine may only be available in mid-2021 (7/29).

Financial Times: ‘Silver bullet’ to beat Covid-19 unlikely, warns U.K. vaccine chief (Gross, 7/29).

New York Times: Moderna Vaccine Test in Monkeys Shows Promise (Grady, 7/28).

New York Times: The Coronavirus Could Dodge Some Treatments, Study Suggests (Wu, 7/28).

Newsweek: Russia Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Possible by Start of 2021, Science Chief Says (Osborne, 7/28).

POLITICO: Is North Korea’s Covid-19 Vaccine Program a Dangerous Ruse? (Ralph, 7/28).

POZ: Will People With HIV Be Excluded From COVID-19 Vaccine Trials? (Highleyman, 7/28).

Science: ‘Vaccine nationalism’ threatens global plan to distribute COVID-19 shots fairly (Kupferschmidt, 7/28).

The Telegraph: When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready? Latest news on U.K. trials (Gartner et al., 7/29).

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U.S. House Democrats Ask GAO To Probe U.S. Government Role In Developing Coronavirus Treatment Remdesivir

Bloomberg Law: Democrats Seek GAO Probe of Gilead’s Covid Treatment Remdesivir
“U.S. House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney and Sen. Debbie Stabenow ask the Government Accountability Office to investigate the discovery and development of Gilead’s remdesivir…” (Chipman, 7/28).

STAT: Lawmakers urge congressional watchdog to probe U.S. government’s role in discovering remdesivir
“…In a letter to the congressional watchdog, the lawmakers argue that the medicine, which is sold by Gilead Sciences, eventually reached patients thanks, in part, to an estimated $70 million in federal funding and ‘key scientific contributions’ from U.S. government scientists…” (Silverman, 7/28).

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More Than Half Of Mumbai Slum Occupants Have Had COVID-19, Study Shows; Europe Works To Avoid Rise In Cases; World Bank Latin America Chief Discusses Recovery; Hajj Begins Under Restrictions; Isolation Possibly More Harmful Than Coronavirus To Canadian Nursing Home Residents

AFRICA

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus and Ebola Together Test a Beleaguered Congo (Bariyo, 7/29).

Washington Post: With drastically smaller hajj, Somalia’s livestock industry goes from ‘boom to doom’ (Faruk/Bearak, 7/28).

Xinhua: Ethiopia’s COVID-19 cases pass 15,000 mark (7/29).

ASIA

Financial Times: Over half of Mumbai slum dwellers have had Covid-19, study claims (Parkin, 7/29).

The Guardian: Pacific nations face wider health crisis as systems focus on stopping Covid-19 (Doherty/Hurst, 7/28).

The Hill: Hong Kong official warns of potential virus outbreak, urges people to stay indoors (Coleman, 7/28).

Reuters: North Korea steps up curbs after first possible coronavirus infection (Cha/Nebehay, 7/28).

Washington Post: Fearing crowded hospitals, some Afghans turn to fruit juice and vegetable soup to ward off the coronavirus (Constable/Hassan, 7/29).

EUROPE

BBC News: Coronavirus: Malta says 65 rescued migrants test positive (7/29).

Bloomberg: Sweden Unveils ‘Promising’ Covid-19 Data as New Cases Plunge (Daly, 7/28).

Financial Times: Care homes in England ‘thrown to the wolves’ during pandemic (Plimmer, 7/28).

Financial Times: Covid-19 hastens French push to bring home medicines manufacture (Abboud/Peel, 7/29).

NPR: German And U.K. Officials Warn Of A Possible New COVID-19 Wave In Europe (Chappel, 7/28).

Wall Street Journal: New Rise in Covid Infections Rains on Europe’s Peak Tourism Season (Pancevski, 7/28).

Wall Street Journal: Italy Deploys Troops to Stop Migrants Breaking Coronavirus Quarantine (Legorano/Sylvers, 7/28).

Washington Post: Europe scrambles to avoid a second coronavirus wave, as infections rise (Morris et al., 7/28).

LATIN AMERICA

AP: Hundreds wait hours for coronavirus care in Ecuador capital (7/29).

AP: Peru’s leader tries to rally a nation battered by pandemic (Briceño/Torchia, 7/28).

AP: Maduro’s hold on Venezuela tightens as coronavirus surges (Smith, 7/28).

Devex: Q&A: World Bank Latin America chief on building back better after COVID-19 (Welsh, 7/29).

The Independent: More than 900 women and girls missing and feared dead in Peru since coronavirus crisis started (Oppenheim, 7/28).

MIDDLE EAST

Christian Science Monitor: Under cover of COVID, ISIS is seeking a comeback (Luck, 7/28).

MENAFN: Emerging from COVID-19: Prompt Action Defines Saudi Arabia’s Success Story (7/29).

VOA News: Hajj Begins in Saudi Arabia Under Historic COVID Imposed Restrictions (7/29).

Wall Street Journal: As Iran’s Covid-19 Death Toll Hits a Record, Government Remains Wary of Another Lockdown (Rasmussen, 7/28).

NORTH AMERICA

CNN: Coronavirus new case counts are falling nationwide, but some states still seeing record numbers (Almasy et al., 7/28).

PRI: Isolation may be a greater risk than COVID-19 for residents of Canada’s nursing homes (Elash, 7/28).

Washington Post: At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks (Witte et al., 7/28).

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COVID-19 Substantially Disrupts Childhood Vaccination Programs Globally; Guardian Spotlights Impact On Measles Efforts In CAR

The Guardian: Measles vaccination disruptions due to coronavirus put 80 million children at risk
“Tens of millions of children around the world have been denied life-saving vaccines against measles in both rich and poor countries due to Covid-19 disruptions, with fears of further outbreaks this year. Since March, routine childhood immunization services have been disrupted on a scale unseen since the 1970s, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Data collected by UNICEF, the Gavi Alliance, WHO, and Sabin Vaccine Institute found in May that immunization programs had been substantially hindered in at least 68 countries, leaving 80 million children under the age of one unprotected from diseases including measles, tetanus, polio, and yellow fever. Although progress on immunization coverage was stalling even before the pandemic hit, limited access to health centers, a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, and fear of contracting Covid-19 have all contributed to major disruptions in the delivery and uptake of vaccination programs…” (Hodal, 7/29).

The Guardian: Measles stalks Central African Republic in Covid’s shadow — in pictures
“Photographer James Oatway of [Médecins sans Frontières] witnessed the misery caused by this preventable disease, as vaccination programs are disrupted around the world” (7/29).

Additional coverage of the declines in childhood immunizations amid COVID-19 is available from VOA News.

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45M In 13 Southern African Countries Face Food Insecurity, SADC Report Says

Al Jazeera: Nearly 45 million people food insecure in southern Africa
“Nearly 45 million people in 13 countries in southern Africa are food insecure as a result of drought, floods, and the impact of coronavirus, the region’s bloc said. The tally has risen almost 10 percent over last year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said in a report on Tuesday…” (7/28).

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Investing In Family Planning Could Result In Significant Health Gains, Cost Savings In LMICs, Report Says

Al Jazeera: Family planning: Billions of dollars saved by contraception
“Low- and middle-income countries could save billions of dollars a year in healthcare costs by investing in making contraception widely available to women, researchers say. Among 923 million women wanting to avoid pregnancy in these countries, about one in four does not use modern contraception, according to a new report published on Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute, a United States-based sexual health research and policy organization. Making contraception available to everyone, including counseling on different methods and follow-up services, would require increasing annual spending to $12.6bn from $7.1bn spent on it now, the report said…” (7/29).

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Senate Democrats Release Report On U.S. Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo's Management Of State Department

Washington Post: Senate Democrats and career diplomats say Pompeo’s leadership has badly weakened the State Department
“Senate Democrats released a scathing report on Tuesday about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s management of the State Department, decrying the broad vacancies at the agency and high-profile resignations of career officials because of alleged intimidation and retribution campaigns by political appointees. … The key findings of the report underscore that career officials from 2016 to 2019 ‘reported steep increases in fear or reprisal for reporting suspected violations of law and declining confidence in senior State Department leadership’; 11 assistant secretary or undersecretary posts are vacant or led by acting officials; and that diplomats report a ‘sense of disrespect and disdain for their work, prompting many to leave and contributing to a loss of expertise at the Department’…” (Hudson, 7/28).

Additional coverage of the report is available from BuzzFeed, The Hill, and POLITICO.

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: New Coronavirus Turns Out to Be Decades Old — in Bats (Wilson, 7/28).

Devex: Watch: Habitat’s Jonathan Reckford on COVID-19 and global housing (Kumar, 7/29).

Devex: USAID local contractors for women and children’s health (Wolf, 7/29).

New York Times: Misleading Virus Video, Pushed by the Trumps, Spreads Online (Frenkel/Alba, 7/28).

U.N. News: Yemen: Crisis reaches new low, top U.N. officials tell Security Council (7/28).

VOA: WHO Says COVID-19 Threatens Gains on Hepatitis (Schlein, 7/28).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinions, Editorial Address Various Issues Related To COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Global Health Security, Global Politics, Climate Policy

Devex: How to reach children with disabilities during school closures
Guy le Fanu, global technical lead for education at Sightsavers (7/28).

Newsweek: Global Health Security Needs New Thinking
David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former U.K. Foreign Secretary, and Jonas Gahr Store, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party and former Health and Foreign Minister (7/28).

New York Times: Remdesivir Could Be in Short Supply. Here’s a Fix
Amy Kapczynski, professor at Yale Law School, and colleagues (7/28).

Project Syndicate: The COVID-19 World Order
Daniel W. Drezner, professor of International Politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Elmira Bayrasli, director of the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program and the co-founder and CEO of Foreign Policy Interrupted (7/28).

Project Syndicate: Pandemic Policy Must be Climate Policy
Renzo Guinto, senior fellow at the Aspen Institute and Chief Planetary Doctor at PH Lab (7/28).

STAT: Pandemics wreak devastation — but spark biomedical innovation
Valdas Jurkauskas, pharmaceutical scientist specializing in chemistry, manufacturing, and controls for drug development and commercialization (7/29).

Washington Post: The pandemic has made Europe stronger
Editorial Board (7/28).

Washington Post: We need a covid-19 reset. So we developed a comprehensive plan to do just that
David J. Skorton, cardiologist and president and chief executive of the Association of American Medical Colleges (7/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Speaks With Anthony Fauci On U.S. Efforts To Address COVID-19 Pandemic During Online Event

CSIS: Coronavirus Crisis Update: Dr. Anthony Fauci on America’s Runaway Crisis
During an online event hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, spoke with Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and member of the White House COVID-19 Task Force, about U.S. efforts to respond to the pandemic (7/24).

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Blogs, Releases Address Various COVID-19 Topics, Including Testing Capacity, Disease Surveillance In Ghana, Impact On Women in Zambia, Reducing Impact On Amazonian Peoples

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: How well is Ghana — with one of the best testing capacities in Africa — responding to COVID-19?
Jiaqi Zhang, research assistant at the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health at Duke University’s Duke Global Health Institute; Justice Nonvignon, associate professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Ghana; and Wenhui Mao, senior policy associate at the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health at Duke University (7/28).

CodeBlue: Realistically, Covid-19 May Be Here To Stay: PKR Health Spokesman (7/29).

CSIS: DREAMS and Covid-19 in Zambia (7/28).

PAHO: PAHO, COICA and other indigenous groups seek to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Amazonian peoples (7/28).

UNAIDS: #TogetherWeWin: inspiring examples of solidarity during the COVID-19 outbreak in eastern Europe and central Asia (7/28).

WHO: Argentina: There is no economy without health (7/29).

World Economic Forum: This is how the world can get routine vaccinations back on track
Sean Fleming, senior writer for Formative Content (7/28).

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From the U.S. Government

2020 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations Address Health Security Cooperation

U.S. Department of State: AUSMIN 2020 Health Security Statement
In a joint statement at the 2020 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), the U.S. and Australian governments discuss progress toward health security cooperation (7/28).

U.S. Department of State: Joint Statement on Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2020 (7/28).

U.S. Department of State: 2020 U.S.-Australia Ministerial Consultations on Health Security Cooperation (7/28).

USAID: Signing of Memorandum of Understanding Between USAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia (6/28).

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USAID Addresses Impact Of COVID-19 On Global Nutrition

USAID/Medium: The Nutrition Crisis Hidden Within the Pandemic
Trey Hicks, associate administrator for relief, resilience, and response at USAID, Alma Golden, assistant administrator for global health at USAID, and Shawn Baker, chief nutritionist at USAID, discuss COVID-19’s impact on global nutrition and highlight USAID’s current and ongoing actions to prevent malnutrition in the midst of COVID-19 (7/28).

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From KFF

New KFF Brief Reviews Data On Coronavirus Transmission Among Children; Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic Available

KFF: What Do We Know About Children and Coronavirus Transmission?
As schools prepare for fall, this brief examines what’s known about children and COVID-19, including the risk the virus poses to children and the risk of children becoming infected and transmitting to others, and the experiences of other countries that reopened classrooms (Michaud/Kates, 7/29).

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of July 29, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/29).

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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