KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Efforts To Reach Global HIV Targets Falter, UNAIDS Report Shows; More Than 70 Nations Risk HIV Medicine Shortages Amid COVID-19, WHO Warns
CNBC: More than 70 countries at risk of running out of HIV drugs due to coronavirus pandemic, WHO says
“More than 70 countries warned they are at risk of running out of HIV medication due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization. Twenty-four countries said they have a ‘critically low’ stock of antiretroviral medicine, or ARVs, largely used as a therapy to treat HIV, or have seen a disruption in their supply chain as a result of the pandemic, the WHO said…” (Feuer, 7/6).
Reuters: Faltering AIDS battle risks 10-year setback from COVID-19, U.N. warns
“The global fight against AIDS was faltering even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this newly emerged viral disease is now threatening to put progress against HIV back by 10 years or more, the United Nations said on Monday. ‘The global HIV targets set for 2020 will not be reached,’ the U.N.’s AIDS agency said in a report. ‘Even the gains made could be lost and progress further stalled if we fail to act’…” (Kelland, 7/6).
Additional coverage of UNAIDS Global AIDS Update is available from AP, Euronews, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Washington Post.
- U.S. House Draft FY21 Foreign Aid Spending Bill Provides Funding For Global COVID-19 Response, WHO, Includes Global HER Act
Devex: House boosts foreign aid funding, adds $10B for COVID-19 response
“The U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee on Monday released its draft foreign aid bill for fiscal year 2021, including more funding overall, about $10 billion for global COVID-19 response, and specific funds for the World Health Organization…” (Saldinger, 7/7).
The Hill: House spending bill counters Trump threat to cut WHO funding
“A spending bill released by House Democrats on Sunday would provide funding to the World Health Organization following President Trump’s threat to withhold U.S. contributions. The annual spending bill … rejected a slew of major requests from Trump to cut money for international and foreign policy programs…” (Elis, 7/6).
The Hill: House Democrats move to permanently restore funding for abortion access abroad
“House Democrats are working to repeal restrictions imposed by the Trump administration that block U.S. foreign aid from helping fund programs that provide women access to an abortion as part of a $66 billion spending bill. The proposal, part of the House Appropriations Committee’s annual State and Foreign Operations bill, would permanently repeal the Trump administration’s ‘Global Gag Rule,’ also known as the Mexico City policy … The move is part of the Global HER Act, introduced by Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) in February, and would also prohibit current and past funds from being used under the banner of the Mexico City policy…” (Kelly, 7/6).
- Trump, Biden Presidential Campaigns Focus On COVID-19; Bipartisan Group Of Former Government Officials Call For Government To Take More Science-Based Approach; State Department Examines Links Between Conflict, Pandemic
Devex: U.S. State Department connecting dots between conflict and COVID-19
“The U.S. State Department is using its internal data platform to measure the impact COVID-19 is having on conflict around the world. Launched by the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations in September 2019, the Instability Monitoring and Analysis Platform — or IMAP — provides centralized, real-time data on conflict indicators. Santiago Stocker, director of CSO’s Office of Advanced Analytics, said using IMAP to monitor conflict trends as the coronavirus impacts life in every country around the world is ‘very new territory’…” (Welsh, 7/7).
Washington Post: Bipartisan group of former government officials demand science-based approach to pandemic
“Fifty-seven former government scientists and public health officials of both parties called on Monday for a science-based approach to the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the Trump administration for marginalizing science and expertise in its response. Officials from the Trump, Obama, and George W. Bush administrations all signed the statement, underscoring the widespread concern over Trump’s response to a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 127,000 Americans so far…” (Abutaleb, 7/6).
Washington Post: Trump and Biden campaigns shift focus to coronavirus as pandemic surges
“The Trump and Biden presidential campaigns now see the coronavirus response as the preeminent force shaping the results of November’s election, prompting both camps to try to refocus their campaigns more heavily on the pandemic, according to officials and advisers of both campaigns…” (Abutaleb/Dawsey, 7/6).
Additional coverage of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is available from The Hill, POLITICO (2), and Roll Call (2).
- U.S. Government's Operation Warp Speed Awards $1.6B To Novavax To Create Coronavirus Vaccine; Debate Arises Over Initiative's Transparency, Vaccine Trials
Financial Times: Novavax signs $1.6bn deal for virus vaccine funding from U.S.
“Novavax has signed a deal worth up to $1.6bn with the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine program, securing more federal funds than any other company behind a potential Covid-19 inoculation…” (Kuchler, 7/7).
New York Times: Researchers Debate Infecting People on Purpose to Test Coronavirus Vaccines
“One way to quickly see if a coronavirus vaccine works would be to immunize healthy people and then deliberately expose them to the virus, some researchers are suggesting. Proponents say this strategy, called a human challenge trial, could save time because rather than conducting tests the usual way — by waiting for vaccinated people to encounter the virus naturally — researchers could just infect them. … For both ethical and practical reasons, the idea of challenge trials for a coronavirus vaccine has provoked fierce debate…” (Grady, 7/6).
Science: Operation Warp Speed’s opaque choices of COVID-19 vaccines draw Senate scrutiny
“The leaders of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s well-funded project to develop COVID-19 vaccines at record speed, have said they are running a transparent project. They have bristled at critics who say they make major decisions behind closed doors. But at a Senate subcommittee hearing [July 2] that focused on Warp Speed, scientists at the front of the effort, after repeated questioning, gave limited answers about the vaccine candidates they have chosen as frontrunners in the race and their selection criteria…” (Cohen, 7/2).
Additional coverage of Operation Warp Speed’s award to Novavax is available from New York Times, Reuters, and Washington Post.
- Health Worker Shortage Worsens In Africa; Coronavirus Mitigation Strategies Shift In Australia, Japan, Dubai; European Sex Workers Struggle To Survive; Average Age Of COVID-19 Patient Drops 15 Years In U.S.
AP: Egypt arrests doctors, silences critics over virus outbreak (7/6).
AP: Zimbabwe nurses protest; South Africa reopens some classes (Mutsaka/Magome, 7/6).
The BMJ: Covid-19: No large hidden outbreak in Africa but health worker shortage worsens (Dyer, 7/3).
AP: Australia to shut state border as Melbourne infections surge (Brownbill/McGuirk, 7/6).
Japan Times: Rift widens between Abe and disease experts over coronavirus strategy (7/6).
New Humanitarian: As home births rise in Nepal, so do fears for maternal health (Logan, 7/6).
PRI: Drones light up the sky in Seoul with coronavirus prevention messages (Romero, 7/6).
Science: Scientists scoff at Indian agency’s plan to have COVID-19 vaccine ready for use next month (7/6).
Financial Times: Britain ‘lags way behind’ in wearing face masks, scientists say (Cookson, 7/7).
New York Times: Europe’s Roma Already Faced Discrimination. The Pandemic Made It Worse (Kingsley/Dzhambazova, 7/6).
PRI: Sex workers in Europe struggle to survive as clubs slowly reopen (Barry, 7/6).
AP: During pandemic, Nicaraguan doctors face political pressure (7/6).
AP: First major Brazilian cities resume classes amid pandemic (Rodrigues/Biller, 7/6).
NPR: How Chile Ended Up With One Of The Highest COVID-19 Rates (Beaubien, 7/2).
AP: Thermometers in hand, Dubai opens for tourists amid pandemic (Gambrell, 7/7).
Wall Street Journal: Second Coronavirus Wave Slams Israel (Schwartz/Lieber, 7/6).
The Atlantic: The Pandemic Experts Are Not Okay (Yong, 7/7).
The Atlantic: The U.S. Is Repeating Its Deadliest Pandemic Mistake (Khazan, 7/6).
The Hill: The average age of COVID-19 patients has dropped by 15 years, Fauci says (Kelley, 7/6).
Mother Jones: How to Protect America’s Public Health System From Leaders Like Trump (Butler, 7/6).
- Some Countries Reopen After Staunching COVID-19 Cases; Millions Of Children Forced Into Labor, Early Marriage, Report Warns
The Telegraph: Aftershock of Covid-19 forces millions of children into begging, child labor and early marriages
“As incomes plummet and jobs are lost en masse in the wake of coronavirus, millions of children are being forced into begging, child labour and early marriages, a report has found. World Vision, a humanitarian organization, said that global predictions the the economic impact of the pandemic on children are now becoming a reality. Already, eight million children have been forced into begging and child labor as a consequence of the outbreak, World Vision warns. The report said 110 million children are facing hunger, and that 85 million households across Asia have little or no food stocks…” (Barber, 7/7).
Wall Street Journal: As Coronavirus Surges in U.S., Some Countries Have Just About Halted It
“Some European nations are closing in on a milestone that to the U.S. seems distant: virtually stopping the new coronavirus from spreading within their territories. Echoing the achievement of Asia-Pacific countries such as New Zealand, Vietnam, and Taiwan, a handful of places in Europe are reporting only a smattering of new daily infections. Their success in containing the pandemic has allowed them to reopen their economies earlier, at a faster clip and with greater confidence than the stop-start efforts of U.S. states and hard-hit neighbors such as the U.K…” (Douglas, 7/6).
- Nations Must Remain Vigilant On 'New And Emerging Forms Of Terrorism' Amid Pandemic, U.N. SG Guterres Warns
U.N. News: Terrorist groups must not be allowed to exploit ‘fragilities’ caused by global health pandemic
“As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the world’s health systems, economies, and local communities, the U.N. Secretary-General on Monday highlighted how the pandemic has laid bare vulnerabilities to ‘new and emerging forms of terrorism,’ such as cyberattacks, bioterrorism, and the misuse of digital technology. While the coronavirus has put the international community in the crosshairs of a crisis like no other since the founding of the United Nations 75 years ago, António Guterres noted that ‘like the virus, terrorism does not respect national borders.’ ‘It affects all nations and can only be defeated collectively,’ he said, opening the second annual gathering of U.N. and international experts known as Counter-Terrorism Week, held virtually this year, with a call to ‘harness the power of multilateralism to find practical solutions’…” (7/6).
- International Institutions, Businesses Off Track In Goal Of Eradicating Extreme Poverty By 2030, Outgoing Rapporteur Says In Final Report; Sustainable Future Depends On World Acting In Solidarity, U.N. ECOSOC VP Says
The Guardian: ‘We squandered a decade’: world losing fight against poverty, says U.N. academic
“International institutions are losing the fight against global poverty despite ‘self congratulatory’ messages to the contrary, according to the U.N.’s outgoing special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. In his final report in the post, the Australian academic Philip Alston warns that states and global organizations are ‘completely off track’ to meet the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, with more people instead likely to become highly impoverished by new shocks, including coronavirus and existing challenges like the climate crisis…” (Beaumont, 7/7).
U.N. News: A sustainable future for all depends on ‘resolve to act together in solidarity’
“The United Nations vision for a sustainable future for all ‘will depend on our policy choices today, and our resolve to act together in solidarity,’ a senior U.N. official told delegates on Monday at a meeting to discuss post-pandemic recovery. Mher Margaryan, the vice president of the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), was speaking at the Integration Segment of a day-long meeting on the eve of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), the annual stock-take of the world’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the U.N.’s blueprint for a better future, for people and planet…” (7/6).
Additional coverage of Alston’s report is available from Foreign Policy.
- Habitat Loss, Unsustainable Farming, Climate Change Will Drive Increase In Zoonotic Diseases, UNEP Report Warns
NPR: U.N. Predicts Rise In Diseases That Jump From Animals To Humans Due To Habitat Loss
“A new United Nations report warns that more diseases that pass from animals to humans, such as COVID-19, are likely to emerge as habitats are ravaged by wildlife exploitation, unsustainable farming practices, and climate change. These pathogens, known as zoonotic diseases, also include Ebola, MERS, HIV/AIDS, and West Nile virus. They have increasingly emerged because of stresses humans have placed on animal habitats, according to the U.N. Environment Programme report Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission, released on Monday…” (Neuman, 7/6).
Additional coverage of the report is available from BBC, Reuters, U.N. News, and Xinhua.
- U.K. Development Secretary, Senior Officials Discuss Details Of DFID, FCO Merger; PM Johnson Did Not Conduct Consultations On Merger, IDC Chair Says
Devex: DFID merger: FCDO will not house a separate ODA department
“The U.K. development secretary shared early details of what the new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will look like Monday, describing it as a ‘blended new organization.’ But Anne-Marie Trevelyan admitted the merger of the Department for International Development with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office was ‘challenging,’ while DFID’s most senior civil servant Nick Dyer said it could take years to properly integrate staff…” (Worley, 7/7).
Devex: There will be U.K. aid cuts this year, Anne-Marie Trevelyan confirms
“The U.K. government will cut some aid programs this year while pausing and shrinking others, the country’s secretary of state for international development confirmed Monday. Anne-Marie Trevelyan told U.K. politicians that a ‘mammoth’ review process had been underway to identify where reductions could be made. More than £2 billion ($2.5 billion) could be lost from the budget due to the struggling economy, according to Trevelyan, but she said the precise size of the cut was a ‘moving feast’ and ‘very difficult to judge,’ acknowledging that ‘it is going to have impacts’…” (Worley, 7/7).
The Guardian: Boris Johnson accused of misleading parliament over DfID merger
“Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading parliament over who was consulted before the merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Sarah Champion, chair of the International Development Committee (IDC), said despite the prime minister’s assurances that there had been ‘massive consultation’ ahead of the announcement last month, evidence suggested there had not been…” (McVeigh, 7/7).
- Johnson & Johnson Announces Reduced Cost Of TB Drug Bedaquiline For More Than 135 Countries Through Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility
Reuters: Johnson & Johnson cuts price of TB drug bedaquiline in poorer countries
“Johnson & Johnson said on Monday it was slashing the price of its version of tuberculosis drug bedaquiline to $340 from $400, for a six-month treatment, in low- and middle-income countries, to scale up its use during the COVID-19 pandemic. J&J’s bedaquiline, marketed under the brand name Sirturo, will be available at the reduced price to more than 135 eligible countries, through the United Nations-hosted Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility, created in 2001 to negotiate lower prices for treatments…” (Maddipatla, 7/6).
- More News In Global Health
Bloomberg: Green Investing Tool Launched by Funds With $1 Trillion of Assets (Munsterman, 7/6).
Devex: African Union needs more country support to launch the African Medicines Agency (Jerving, 7/7).
New York Times: Can an Algorithm Predict the Pandemic’s Next Moves? (Carey, 7/2).
NPR: Aerosols, Droplets, Fomites: What We Know About Transmission Of COVID-19 (Huang, 7/6).
PRI: Shanghai Pride went on as planned last month. But the fight for LGBTQ rights in China is far from over (Kanthor, 7/6).
Reuters: Climate woes growing for women, hit worst by displacement and migration (Rowling, 7/7).
STAT: The pandemic has exacerbated an under-the-radar health disparity: period poverty (Gaffney, 7/7).
U.N. News: Move away from outdated ‘mad or bad’ approach to mental illness, urges independent U.N. expert (7/6).
U.N. News: Restoring dignity to victims of sexual abuse and exploitation by U.N. personnel (7/6).
UPI: Prescriptions for two malaria drugs more than doubled early in COVID-19 outbreak (Dunleavy, 7/6).
Ventures: Kenya Introduces New Mode of Testing and Treating TB (Ikade, 7/6).
Washington Post: There was an effective vaccine. An outbreak struck anyway (Taylor, 7/7).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Access To Vaccines, Mental Health Of Health Workers, Others
The Conversation: How countries get away with hoarding drugs in a pandemic
Mark Eccleston-Turner, lecturer of law at Keele University (7/6).
Devex: The debate around intellectual property rights and the COVID-19 vaccine
Arnab Acharya, independent scholar (7/6).
Devex: Depression, anxiety, insomnia — health workers and the side effects of COVID-19
Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, and Elizabeth Pappadopulos, clinical psychologist and global medical affairs lead for CNS Disorders at Upjohn (7/7).
Foreign Policy: The Coronavirus Is Hastening Modi’s Transformation of India
Kapil Komireddi, author (7/6).
The Hill: The best way to address crises within the coronavirus crisis
Peter Howard, chief international operations officer at Food for the Hungry (7/6).
The Lancet: Financial crisis at PAHO in the time of COVID-19: a call for action
Arlene King, adjunct professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and colleagues (7/2).
Nature: Reset Sustainable Development Goals for a pandemic world
Robin Naidoo, lead scientist with WWF-U.S. and adjunct professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Brendan Fisher, professor in the Environmental Program at the Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources and Gund Institute of Environment at the University of Vermont (7/6).
New York Times: How America Lost the War on Covid-19
Paul Krugman, opinion columnist at the New York Times and distinguished professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center (7/6).
Scientific American: The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History Is Running Now
Lydia Denworth, contributing editor at Scientific American (July 2020).
Scientific American: Lessons for COVID-19 from the Early Days of AIDS
William A. Haseltine, founder of the Harvard University’s cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments and chair and president of ACCESS Health International (7/6).
STAT: Why were we so late responding to Covid-19? Blame it on our culture and brains
Nat Kendall-Taylor, psychological anthropologist and CEO of the FrameWorks Institute (7/6).
Washington Post: Trump is responsible for our unfolding coronavirus disaster
Michael Gerson, columnist at the Washington Post (7/6).
Washington Post: The pandemic is Sissi’s latest weapon against the press in Egypt
Jason Rezaian, writer for Global Opinions at the Washington Post (7/6).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- International AIDS Conference Opens Virtually; Organizations Issue Releases, Coverage Of Conference Proceedings
aidsmap: AIDS 2020: Virtual (7/7).
AVAC: Injectable PrEP is Highly Effective for Some Populations and Must Move Forward as Quickly as Possible (7/7).
WHO: 23rd International AIDS Conference and COVID-19 Conference (7/6).
WHO: Access to HIV medicines severely impacted by COVID-19 as AIDS response stalls (7/6).
Health GAP: This Was Preventable: COVID-19 Collides with Unmet Global AIDS Goals, Creating New Crisis for HIV Positive Adults and Children (7/6).
- Blogs, Releases Address COVID-19's Impact On Health Systems, Other Disease Efforts
Center for Global Development: The Indirect Health Effects of COVID-19: Long-term Costs for Health Systems
Lydia Regan, research assistant, and Y-Ling Chi, senior policy analyst, both with CGD (7/6).
IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: To Succeed, Global Pandemic Response Must Bolster Nurse Leadership and Challenge Widespread Gender Inequities
Vince Blaser, former senior advocacy & policy adviser at IntraHealth International, and former director of Frontline Health Workers Coalition (7/6).
PAHO: PAHO urges countries to continue fight against malaria during COVID-19 pandemic, especially among vulnerable communities (6/6).
WHO Regional Office for Europe: High vigilance to prevent return of polio in Europe continues despite COVID-19 pandemic (7/7).
- July 2020 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online
WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The July 2020 WHO Bulletin features an editorial about tackling antimicrobial resistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a research article about modeling the effects of Wuhan, China’s lockdown during COVID-19, a perspective piece on the local production of essential medicines in Nigeria, as well as articles on other topics (July 2020).
From the U.S. Government
- PEPFAR Releases Latest Results At AIDS 2020, Announces New Investments
U.S. Department of State: PEPFAR announces latest HIV program progress and new investments to reach more people in greatest need
“At the opening of the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) released its latest program results, showing significant gains in reaching populations in greatest need with life-saving HIV services, and announced new investments aimed at further accelerating PEPFAR’s progress. PEPFAR has reached over 1.5 million adolescent girls and young women with comprehensive HIV prevention services in the past six months — more than it did in the previous full year — and the program will more than double its annual funding to support adolescent girls and young women to stay HIV-free, with a planned investment of over $400 million in fiscal year 2021…” (7/6).
- HHS Highlights USG-Related Activities At AIDS 2020
HIV.gov: Reminder — HHS Activities at AIDS 2020 This Week
This site highlights HHS-related activities at the International AIDS Conference happening this week, including presentations of U.S.-supported HIV/AIDS research and conversations with U.S. government leaders, as well as notes the conference activities of other U.S. government agencies (7/6).
- KFF, UNAIDS Release Annual Analysis Of Donor Government Funding For Global HIV
KFF: KFF/UNAIDS Analysis Finds Donor Governments Spent US$7.8 Billion for HIV in 2019, Down Almost $200 Million From the Previous Year
“A new report from KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) finds donor government disbursements to combat HIV in low- and middle-income countries totaled US$7.8 billion in 2019, a reduction from the US$8 billion in 2018 and nearly the same as the funding levels of a decade ago. Half of the 14 donor governments analyzed in the study decreased their spending on global HIV efforts from 2018 to 2019; six increased; and one held steady. Donor government funding supports HIV care and treatment, prevention, and other services in low- and middle-income countries…” (7/6).
- KFF Updates U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker
KFF: U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker
This tracker provides a listing of global health-related legislation introduced in the 116th Congress. Currently, there are nearly 80 pieces of legislation related to global health. The tracker was updated with new bills and recent status changes for others (6/29).
- KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of July 7, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (7/7).
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.