KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. House Republicans Urge Trump Administration To Not Terminate WHO Relationship; Global Survey Examines U.S., Chinese Responses To Pandemic

CNN: Republicans urge Trump not to terminate relationship with World Health Organization
“Despite alleging that the World Health Organization ‘enabled’ the Chinese government’s sweeping cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic’s origins, House Republicans are urging the Trump administration to reconsider its recent decision to terminate relations with the international body, arguing the U.S. can do more to affect change as a member. The recommendation is part of a new report issued by Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Monday, which outlines the findings of a months-long investigation into the origins of the outbreak and Beijing’s efforts to ‘conceal the spread and novel nature of the virus’…” (Cohen, 6/15).

Washington Times: GOP lawmakers urge Trump to not cut ties with the World Health Organization
“…The lawmakers allege the WHO ‘enabled the CCP cover-up by failing to investigate and publicize reports conflicting with the official CCP, while at the same time praising the CCP’s response. In sum, the COVID-19 global pandemic could have been prevented if the CCP acted in a transparent and responsible manner.’ Despite the latest findings, the group maintained that they ‘do not believe the withdrawal of the United States or the establishment of a competing international organization is the correct path forward.’ ‘Instead, we believe the results of this investigation should inform our final recommendation — reform of the International Health Regulations and the WHO’…” (Meier, 6/15).

Coverage of a global poll showing more people worldwide believe China’s response to the pandemic has been better than the U.S. response is available from Reuters.

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Former U.S. Ebola Czar Ron Klain Discusses U.S. Response To COVID-19 Pandemic In Interview With The Hill

The Hill: Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House’s bad decisions have put U.S. behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify
“Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says [in an interview with The Hill’s Steve Clemons that the] White House’s bad decisions have put the U.S. behind many other nations on COVID-19; expresses confidence in vaccine development because of Anthony Fauci’s oversight; claims Jared Kushner and Vice President Pence worked at cross-purposes in preparing America for COVID-19 fight…” (Clemons, 6/15).

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FDA Withdraws Emergency Use Authorization For Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine To Treat COVID-19, Warns Of Combining With Remdesivir; Trump Critical Of Decision

POLITICO: FDA ends emergency use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus
“The Food and Drug Administration on Monday withdrew emergency use authorizations for two coronavirus treatments that President Donald Trump promoted despite concerns about their safety and effectiveness. The agency revoked the authorizations for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine after a request from Gary Disbrow, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority…” (Owermohle, 6/15).

Reuters: Trump critical of FDA decision to revoke emergency use of drug he has promoted for COVID-19
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, but quickly came under fire from President Donald Trump, who said only U.S. agencies have failed to grasp its benefit in fighting the coronavirus…” (Beasley/Mishra, 6/15).

Reuters: FDA warns against combination of malaria drug and Gilead’s remdesivir
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a warning to healthcare providers against administering malaria drug hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with Gilead Sciences’ experimental COVID-19 drug, remdesivir. The agency, based on data from a recent non-clinical study, said the co-administration may result in reduced antiviral activity of remdesivir…” (Roy, 6/15).

Additional coverage of the FDA’s announcements is available from ABC (Australia), CIDRAP News, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, New York Times, Science, STAT, VOA News, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

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Gilead Deal With Generic Pharmaceutical Companies To Produce Remdesivir Could Hinder Access For Some Countries; Gavi Advance Market Commitment Aims To Improve Access To Coronavirus Vaccines

Devex: Gilead’s closed-door deal sets precedent for COVID-19 drug access
“Amid global conversations to ensure equitable access to future drugs and vaccines for COVID-19, Gilead Sciences, Inc. made its own side room deal. Over the past month, the U.S.-based company made an agreement with generic pharmaceutical companies in Egypt, India, and Pakistan to allow them to produce its drug remdesivir, an injectable antiviral medication, and currently the most promising drug for the treatment of the coronavirus. The deal allows these generic manufacturers to distribute the drug in 127 countries. … The deal allows Gilead to transfer knowledge to chosen companies in the three countries so that they can begin producing the drug, but it excludes over 70 countries, who will then be dependent on Gilead’s prices and supply or will have to work to overcome the company’s patent. And even for countries included in the deal, access is not guaranteed…” (Jerving, 6/16).

Quartz: The coalition trying to make sure poor countries get Covid-19 vaccines
“On June 4, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, announced a fundraising pledge to increase access to future Covid-19 vaccines in developing countries. Called an advance market commitment, or AMC, the campaign would essentially pre-order vaccines with the pledge money, reserving them for use where they’re needed. … [T]he contributors to the Covid-19 AMC are more eclectic [than the group’s normal donors]. So far, the 12 contributors include the small nation of Bhutan, whose population of 800,000 is smaller than the U.S. capital; the nonprofit group Gamers Without Borders; and the social media company TikTok. … According to Gavi, [the AMC’s] goals are to ‘fund volume guarantees to specific manufacturers for vaccine candidates before they are licensed; commit to market-wide demand guarantees available to any manufacturer; purchase doses when they are licensed and WHO prequalified.’ In other words, paying vaccine manufacturers to make sure they provide products for poorer countries…” (Foley, 6/15).

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1 In 5 People Worldwide At Risk Of Severe COVID-19, Modeling Study Shows; Patients With Underlying Health Conditions 12 Times More Likely To Die Of Virus Than Otherwise Healthy People, Data Show

New York Times: Study Finds 1 in 5 People Worldwide at Risk of Severe Covid-19
“…[A]mong the most vulnerable [to novel coronavirus infection] are people with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and diseases that affect the heart and lungs. According to a new modeling study, roughly 1.7 billion people around the world — 22 percent of the global population — fall into that category. That estimate, published [Monday] in The Lancet Global Health, excluded healthy older individuals without underlying health conditions, a group also known to be at risk because of their age. It also did not take into account risk factors like poverty and obesity, which can influence a person’s susceptibility to disease and access to treatment…” (Wu, 6/15).

Washington Post: Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of covid-19 as otherwise healthy people, CDC finds
“People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalized six times as often as otherwise healthy individuals infected with the novel coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times as often, according to a federal health report Monday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data on more than 1.7 million coronavirus cases and 103,700 deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, reported to the agency from state and territorial health departments from Jan. 22 through May 30…” (Sun, 6/15).

Additional coverage of the study and data is available from AP, HealthDay News, and The Hill.

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COVID-19 Cases Pass 8M Worldwide; Pandemic Hits Latin America Hard, Especially Brazil

Reuters: Global coronavirus cases reach over 8 million as outbreak expands in Latin America
“Global cases of the novel coronavirus reached over 8 million on Monday, as infections surge in Latin America and the United States and China grapple with fresh outbreaks. The United States still leads the world with the highest number of infections, about 2 million or 25% of all reported cases. However, the outbreak is growing fastest in Latin America, which now accounts for 21% of all cases, according to a Reuters tally…” (Shumaker/Chan, 6/15).

Washington Post: As control measures lift, the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow. Here are the global hot spots.
“…[T]he novel coronavirus persists. Measured in terms of new confirmed cases — figures that experts agree are underestimated — it is surging rather than dwindling. … Even if the recent surge in confirmed numbers may be due in part to increases in the availability of testing, the virus is nowhere near going away, experts say. As early hot spots begin to recover, the epicenters of the pandemic shift. Amid a widespread relaxation in restrictions, from Israel to Iran to South Korea to China, new clusters have formed. Three months after much of the world shut down, the United States, Brazil, Russia, and India are reporting the highest numbers of new daily cases…” (Berger, 6/15).

Washington Post: Brazil ignored the warnings. Now, while other countries fret over a second coronavirus wave, it can’t get past its first.
“…Latin America’s largest country has so far registered more than 888,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 44,000 deaths, second on both counts only to the United States. But while other countries have been through steep curves and are now focused on preparations for a possible second wave, Brazil can’t even get past its first. What’s happening here appears to be unique on a global level. Despite soaring numbers, officials never implemented measures largely successful elsewhere in the world. There has been no national lockdown. No national testing campaign. No agreed-upon plan. Insufficient health-care expansion. Instead, the hardest-hit cities are now deciding to open up, throwing open the doors to malls and churches, at a time when the country is routinely posting more than 30,000 new cases a day — five times more than Italy reported at the peak of its outbreak. The inaction has pushed the country onto a path that scientists call uncharted…” (McCoy/Traiano, 6/16).

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Amid Pandemic, More Girls At Risk Of FGM; New Outbreak In Beijing Tops 100 Cases; New Zealand Records 2 Cases In Travelers; U.K. Begins Vaccine Trial; Model Predicts 200K Deaths In U.S. By October

AFRICA

The Guardian: Why coronavirus has placed millions more girls at risk of FGM (Hodal, 6/16).

New York Times: Coronavirus Accelerates Across Africa (Maclean, 5/16).

Reuters: Nigerian doctors strike for better benefits during coronavirus crisis (Sotunde et al., 6/15).

Scientific American: African Countries Scramble to Ramp up Testing for COVID-19 (Wild, 6/16).

The Telegraph: As South Africa’s draconian lockdown is relaxed, cases begin to soar (Brown, 6/15).

VOA News: In Cameroon, Social Media Used to Fight Misinformation (Nzouankeu, 6/15).

Xinhua: African children remain under siege from COVID-19: UNICEF (6/16).

ASIA

AP: Beijing expands lockdowns as cases top 100 in new outbreak (Moritsugu, 6/16).

CNBC: WHO calls for more ‘systematic, exhaustive investigation’ on clusters in response to Beijing outbreak (Kim, 6/15).

New York Times: Coronavirus Breaches Chinese Capital, Rattling Officials (Buckley/Wang, 6/15).

Reuters: China’s new virus outbreak needs further testing after ‘hypothesis’ on cause: WHO (Farge/Nebehay, 6/15).

Reuters: New Zealand no longer free of coronavirus as two women test positive (Menon, 6/15).

VICE: Fearing a Post-COVID Baby Boom, Indonesia Is Making a Lot of Noise About Contraception. Literally (Hastanto/Poa, 6/15).

Wall Street Journal: New Covid-19 Outbreak in China Rattles Beijing (Hua et al., 6/15).

Washington Post: Beijing carries out mass testing as coronavirus spreads in the Chinese capital (Fifield, 6/15).

EUROPE

AP: U.K. begins coronavirus vaccine trial; France pledges funding (Cheng/Charlton, 6/16).

The Guardian: Coronavirus vaccine trial by Imperial College London begins (6/15).

Reuters: Germany launches coronavirus app as E.U. eyes travel revival (Busvine, 6/16).

LATIN AMERICA

New Humanitarian: Hard lessons from COVID-19 on looking after the dead (Dupraz-Dobias, 6/15).

Reuters: Coronavirus deaths near 44,000 in Brazil, No.2 global hotspot (Fonseca et al., 6/15).

MIDDLE EAST

AP: Saudis see high hopes for 2020 upended by pandemic (Batrawy, 6/16).

AP: Turkey makes masks compulsory in 42 provinces after uptick (6/16).

NORTH AMERICA

The Hill: Trump on coronavirus: ‘If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any’ (Weixel, 6/15).

New York Times: Pence Misleadingly Blames Coronavirus Spikes on Rise in Testing (Rogers/Martin, 6/15).

Reuters: New projection puts U.S. COVID-19 deaths at over 200,000 by October (Hay, 6/15).

Reuters: Cuban doctors may stay longer in Mexico if coronavirus cases keep rising (Oré, 6/15).

Reuters: U.S. airlines threaten to ban passengers who refuse to wear masks (Rucinski/Shepardson, 6/15).

Washington Post: Fed leaders urge Congress to spend more because ‘we can’t wait 10 years for recovery to reach everyone’ (Long, 6/15).

Washington Post: Volunteers sign up to put their lives on the line for a coronavirus vaccine (Guarino/Johnson, 6/15).

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Despite Ongoing Global Response To COVID-19, Preparations For Southern Seasonal Flu Must Remain Priority, WHO DG Says

U.N. News: COVID-19: Preparations for southern flu season must be a priority: WHO’s Tedros
“Despite the ongoing global response to COVID-19, the world cannot lose sight of the significant public health risk posed by influenza, which affects every country every year and takes its own deadly toll, World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday. ‘As we enter the southern hemisphere influenza season … we must ensure influenza remains a top priority,’ the agency chief said during his media briefing. ‘Co-circulation of COVID-19 and influenza can worsen the impact on health systems that are already overwhelmed’…” (6/15).

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COVID-19 Pandemic Shows How Environmental Protection, Social Justice, Health Should Be Addressed Together, U.N. Global Compact Chief Says

The Guardian: Covid-19 pandemic is ‘fire drill’ for effects of climate crisis, says U.N. official
“The coronavirus pandemic is ‘just a fire drill’ for what is likely to follow from the climate crisis, and the protests over racial injustice around the world show the need to tie together social equality, environmental sustainability, and health, the U.N.’s sustainable business chief has said. ‘The overall problem is that we are not sustainable in the ways we are living and producing on the planet today,’ said Lise Kingo, the executive director of the U.N. Global Compact, under which businesses sign up to principles of environmental protection and social justice. ‘The only way forward is to create a world that leaves no one behind’…” (Harvey, 6/15).

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Iran To Cease Provision Of Family Planning Services At State-Run Health Facilities

The Guardian: Iran ends provision by state of contraceptives and vasectomies
“Iran’s state hospitals and clinics are no longer performing vasectomies or giving out contraceptives in an attempt to revive flagging population growth, a senior health official has told state media. Iranian women were now having 1.7 children on average, well below the 2.2 required to maintain the population, Hamed Barakati, director general of the Ministry of Health’s Office of Population and Family Health, told the Islamic Republic News Agency in an interview on Sunday. … Family planning procedures and products would continue to be available from pharmacies and private hospitals, however, and in public hospitals to women whose life was at risk, Barakati said…” (Safi, 6/15).

Additional coverage of Iran’s policy decision regarding state-provided family planning services is available from BBC and The Telegraph.

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DRC Reports 17 Cases, 11 Deaths In New Ebola Outbreak In Équateur Province

Al Jazeera: 17 infected, 11 dead in new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo has recorded 17 Ebola cases in a new outbreak of the deadly virus in the western province of Équateur and 11 of those infected have died, health officials said on Monday. Authorities reported 12 infections last week in the central African country, whose dilapidated health system is also combating a measles epidemic that has killed more than 6,000 people and COVID-19, which has infected about 4,800 and killed 112…” (6/15).

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More News In Global Health

BBC: MSF Afghan maternity ward to close after deadly gun attack (6/16).

Borgen Magazine: 5 Organizations Fighting COVID-19 and Water Scarcity (Rhodes, 6/15).

Devex: The rise of the robo-health worker (Root, 6/16).

Devex: IDC recommends no new money for Newton Fund until it reforms (Worley, 6/15).

Financial Times: Coronavirus could infect human brain and replicate, U.S. study shows (Cookson, 6/15).

National Geographic: On the hunt for the next deadly virus (Smith, 6/16).

New York Times: Fighting the Coronavirus With Innovative Tech (Morrissey, 6/16).

Reuters: Saudi-led coalition cut from U.N. blacklist of warring parties killing children (Nichols, 6/15).

Science: Fifty-four scientists have lost their jobs as a result of NIH probe into foreign ties (Mervis, 6/12).

Science: HIV and TB increase death risk from COVID-19, study finds — but not by much (Nordling, 6/15).

UPI: People living longer, though not healthier, with HIV, analysis finds (Dunleavy, 6/15).

Wall Street Journal: Tech Firms Are Spying on You. In a Pandemic, Governments Say That’s OK (Schechner et al., 6/15).

Xinhua: Dengue cases in Philippines in first 5 months down 46 pct compared to 2019 (6/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Response, Including Need To Address Global Poverty Amid Pandemic

The Conversation: Fast COVID-19 vaccine timelines are unrealistic and put the integrity of scientists at risk
Byram W. Bridle, associate professor of viral immunology at the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph, and Shayan Sharif, professor of immunology and associate dean for research and graduate studies at the University of Guelph (6/15).

The Conversation: Was the coronavirus outbreak an intelligence failure?
Erik J. Dahl, associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School (6/15).

The Conversation: Global poverty: coronavirus could drive it up for the first time since the 1990s
Andy Sumner, professor of international development at King’s College London; Christopher Hoy, research and policy fellow at Australian National University; and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, PhD student at King’s College London (6/16).

Forbes: How African Nations Can Respond To The Challenges Of Both Covid-19 And Future Pandemics
Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, vice president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and Vanessa Kerry, co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health, critical care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, and associate professor at Harvard Medical School (6/15).

The Hill: The World Health Organization’s truth-cleansing pandemic
Rupert Darwall, senior fellow at RealClearFoundation (6/15).

IPS: Predicting COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rates Around the World
Justin Sandefur, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, and colleagues (6/16).

New York Times: Covid-19 Doctors: Fatigued, Mourning and Bracing for More
Daniela J. Lamas, critical care doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston (6/16).

New York Times: This Country Fought Ebola. It May Beat Another Disease
Niccoló F. Meriggi, economist at the International Growth Center in Sierra Leone, and Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, professor of economics at Yale University and founder of the Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale (6/16).

SciDev.Net: Don’t lose focus on diseases of poverty in COVID-19 crisis
Eric Fèvre, professor of veterinary infectious diseases at the University of Liverpool and jointly appointed at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, and Naomi Marks, project communications manager at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the U.K. (6/15).

STAT: Covid-19 and remdesivir: rethinking how we measure a drug’s ‘value’
Patricia Deverka, physician, chief science officer of the Innovation and Value Initiative, and executive director of Deverka Consulting; Louis Garrison, health economist and professor emeritus in the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics Institute in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington; and Samuel Nussbaum, physician, president of the Innovation and Value Initiative, and senior fellow of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics (6/15).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus and the Climate
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 columnist for the Global View at the Wall Street Journal (6/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blogs, Releases Address COVID-19 Impacts, Response Funding, Other Related Topics

Brookings: Yemen and COVID-19: The pandemic exacts its devastating toll
Omer Karasapan, consultant with Strategies for Stability (6/15).

Center for Global Development: Using Military Health Systems in the Response to COVID-19
Joseph Kazibwe, assistant technical analyst in health economics with iDSI, and colleagues (6/15).

Chicago Council on Global Affairs: COVID-19, Malnutrition, and Climate Change — The Need to Transform the System
Cynthia Rosenzweig, senior research scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (6/15).

DevPolicy Blog: With COVID-19, the SDGs are even more important
Dane Moores, manager of the policy team at World Vision Australia (6/16).

Friends of the Global Fight: 192 Faith Leaders Urge Congress To Provide Robust Funding for International COVID-19 Relief (6/15).

Health GAP: HIV+ People Are More than Two Times Likelier to Die of COVID-19 so Why Aren’t Leaders Doubling Down on the HIV Response?
Jessica Bassett, director of communications at Health GAP (6/11).

ONE Blog: COVID-19 has revealed inequalities on an unprecedented scale
Melene Rossouw, founder of Women Lead Movement (6/15).

UNAIDS: UNAIDS highlights six critical actions to put gender equality at the center of COVID-19 responses (6/15).

World Economic Forum: Environmental leadership will be more in demand than ever after COVID-19
Neal Myrick, vice president of social impact at Tableau Software (6/15).

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From the U.S. Government

HHS Fact Sheet Provides Overview Of Operation Warp Speed For COVID-19 Vaccine

HHS: Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed
This fact sheet provides an overview of Operation Warp Speed, an HHS-wide effort that “aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics” (6/16).

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USAID Releases Fact Sheets On HIV Epidemic Control In Central Asia

USAID: USAID Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control
This fact sheet provides an overview of the objectives, challenges, and potential solutions of the USAID Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control project in Central Asia, which aims to attain and maintain HIV epidemic control among key populations, improve management and financial systems to scale and sustain government responses to the HIV epidemic, and support the transition of community-based service delivery to local partners (6/15).

USAID: USAID Central Asia HIV Flagship Activity
This fact sheet provides an overview of the activities and achievements of the USAID Central Asia HIV Flagship activity to reduce new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths in three Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan (6/15).

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U.S. Releases Annual Report Assessing Fiscal Transparency Of 141 Governments

U.S. Department of State: Department of State Releases Annual Fiscal Transparency Report
“On June 15, 2020, the United States Department of State released the 2020 Fiscal Transparency Report, which found that 76 of 141 governments reviewed by the Department met minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Fourteen of the 65 governments that did not meet minimum requirements made significant progress during the review period. Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps build private market confidence, and underpins economic sustainability…” (6/15).

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From KFF

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

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of June 16, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (6/16).

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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