KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Bank Reached Capacity In Support For LMICs Amid Coronavirus, President Malpass Says In Devex Interview

Devex: World Bank has ‘stretched’ its capacity in coronavirus response, Malpass says
“The World Bank has reached the limit of support it can provide to low- and middle-income countries recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, even while acknowledging those nations require more resources than are currently available, the institution’s president said Tuesday. ‘We’ve stretched the capacity of the bank in the commitments that we’ve made,’ said World Bank President David Malpass during an interview with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar…” (Igoe, 6/16).

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Disagreement Over WHO Impacting U.N. Security Council, Russian Media Reports; U.S. Continues To Work With WHO 2 Weeks After Trump Declares U.S. Terminating Relationship

Reuters: Disagreement on WHO hindering U.N. Security Council conference: RIA
“Russia said on Wednesday that differences between other nations over the role of the World Health Organization have delayed a video conference being organized between the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the RIA news agency reported…” (Kiselyova/Tétrault-Farber, 6/17).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Work With WHO Continues, Weeks After Trump’s Vow to Quit
“More than two weeks after President Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the World Health Organization, his government remains a member of the U.N. agency and continues to coordinate with it, raising hopes among agency officials the U.S. may not follow through. The WHO has received no notice clarifying the U.S. government’s plans since May 29, when President Trump told reporters ‘we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization’…” (Hinshaw/Donati, 6/16).

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Australian Foreign Minister Payne Says Chinese, Russian Disinformation Created 'Fear And Division,' Calls For Greater Efforts To Reform Global Bodies, Including WHO

AP: Australia accuses China and Russia of virus disinformation
“China and Russia have used the anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic to undermine Western democracies by spreading disinformation online, Australia’s foreign minister said. The disinformation contributed to a ‘climate of fear and division’ when the world needed cooperation and understanding, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a speech at Australian National University, a text of which was released by her office late Tuesday…” (McGuirk, 6/17).

Reuters: Australia says pandemic prompts greater effort to revamp global bodies
“Australia will take a more activist role in reshaping global bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) after the coronavirus pandemic dealt an unexpected blow to international stability, its foreign minister said on Tuesday. … The pandemic has drawn attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations system, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a major policy speech, adding that no other body could do the health security work the WHO does…” (Needham, 6/16).

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Trump Incorrectly Claims COVID-19 Will Disappear Without Vaccine, Says Scientists Developed 'AIDS Vaccine'

HuffPost: Trump Claims COVID-19 Will Go Away And That An AIDS Vaccine Exists. It Doesn’t.
“President Donald Trump went off-topic during an address outside the White House on police reform Tuesday, declaring that the coronavirus pandemic will go away without a vaccine and that scientists have ‘come up with the AIDS vaccine.’ At present, there is no scientific indication that coronavirus will go away if a vaccine is not developed and no AIDS vaccine exists. … No vaccine is currently available to prevent HIV infection, the virus which causes AIDS, or to treat those who have it, but there are many medications available for those living with HIV to manage the virus. Outside of his erroneous claims about an AIDS vaccine, Trump once again said that the coronavirus will eventually go away if a vaccine does not get developed…” (Amatulli, 6/16).

Additional coverage of Trump’s remarks and U.S. efforts to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available from AP, CNBC, The Hill, Roll Call, and USA TODAY.

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News Outlets Examine Various Efforts To Develop Novel Coronavirus Vaccines

Axios: Germany to invest €300 million in biotech firm developing coronavirus vaccine (Primack, 6/16).

Financial Times: The long road to a Covid-19 vaccine (Ahuja, 6/17).

Financial Times: Sanofi to build vaccine plant and research centre in France (Abboud, 6/16).

Los Angeles Times: China aims to ‘lead the world’ by winning the coronavirus vaccine race (Su, 6/17).

Reuters: EXCLUSIVE — CureVac becomes second company to test coronavirus vaccine in Germany — sources (Burger/Weiss, 6/16).

Science: ‘We’ve got to be able to move more quickly.’ The pandemic reality of COVID-19 clinical trials (Couzin-Frankel, 6/16).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Vaccine Makers Are Hunting for Vital Equipment: Glass Vials (Hopkins/Hinshaw, 6/16).

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Common Steroid Significantly Reduces Risk Of Death Among Seriously Ill COVID-19 Patients, Preliminary Study Results Show

New York Times: Common Drug Reduces Coronavirus Deaths, Scientists Report
“In an unexpected sign of hope amid the expanding pandemic, scientists at the University of Oxford said on Tuesday that an inexpensive and commonly available drug reduced deaths in patients with severe Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. If the finding is borne out, the drug, a steroid called dexamethasone, would be the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients. Had doctors been using the drug to treat the sickest Covid-19 patients in Britain from the beginning of the pandemic, up to 5,000 deaths could have been prevented, the researchers estimated…” (Mueller/Rabin, 6/16).

Reuters: WHO moves to update COVID-19 guidance after ‘great news’ in drug study
“The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was moving to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with COVID-19 to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid can help save critically ill patients. … ‘This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,’ WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement late on Tuesday. The agency said it was looking forward to the full data analysis of the study in coming days…” (Shields et al., 6/17).

Wall Street Journal: Dexamethasone Improves Survival in Severe Covid-19 Patients, Study Finds
“…U.K. regulators said they had immediately approved dexamethasone to treat all hospitalized Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen support based on the study results. In the U.S., an expert panel convened by the National Institutes of Health to make Covid-19 treatment recommendations will likely soon consider revising their guidelines in light of the U.K. study, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. … Oxford issued the study results in a press release, not yet in a peer-reviewed journal that provides the full data set that researchers who weren’t involved in the trial can review…” (Walker, 6/16).

Additional coverage of the preliminary study results is available from AP, Financial Times, Reuters, STAT, and Washington Post.

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Trump Administration Debates What To Do With Malaria Pill Stockpile Built Up Before Drugs' Effectiveness Known; Analysts Say U.S. National Security Priorities Must Change Before Next Pandemic

New York Times: A Mad Scramble to Stock Millions of Malaria Pills, Likely for Nothing
“The Food and Drug Administration’s abrupt decision this week to revoke an emergency waiver for two malaria drugs promoted by President Trump as potential ‘game changers’ against the coronavirus has left 66 million doses stranded in the federal stockpile — and officials do not yet know what they will do with them. … As of Monday, the government has distributed 31 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine to state and local health departments, hospitals and research institutions; 63 million tablets remain, according to Carol Danko, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials are working with the companies that donated the drugs to ‘determine the available options’ for the products…” (Stolberg, 6/16).

Washington Post: To prepare for the next pandemic, the U.S. needs to change its national security priorities, experts say
“…[T]hree months after President Trump declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus, officials and analysts are again asking whether national security should be dramatically recalibrated, this time around the threat of pandemic. … The Washington Post spoke to 29 current and former officials, lawmakers, and experts to ask how the coronavirus pandemic would change U.S. national security. The officials have served in Republican and Democratic administrations in the White House, the military, the intelligence community, and the State Department. Many of them claim no party affiliation. … If the United States wants to save more lives and fend off economic ruin when the next pandemic strikes, leaders should take the following steps, the analysts said, while they still have time…” (Harris/Ryan, 6/16).

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Coronavirus Could Be Carried In Fecal Particles Spread By Toilet Flushing, Study Shows

Business Insider: Flushing the toilet could create a 3-foot vortex of airborne coronavirus poop particles, a new study shows
“…A new study [published in] the American Institute of Physics [Physics of Fluids journal] evaluated how far these viral poop particles could spread when you flush a toilet. It found that a toilet’s flush could spew tiny droplets from the toilet — and the material inside — up to 3 feet from the toilet, which could land on other surfaces around the bathroom. It also found that the turbulence from a flush generated such small particles that they could float in the air around the toilet for up to a minute, where they could be inhaled by another bathroom user. Shared bathrooms can be risky for this reason…” (Secon, 6/16).

Additional coverage of the study is available from CNN, The Hill, New York Times, and Washington Post.

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Europe Rolls Out Coronavirus Contact Tracing Apps; U.N. Agencies Warn Of Rising Hunger In Latin America, Caribbean; Iran Sees Biggest 1-Day Rise In Cases; U.S. Death Toll Passes Number Of Service Members Killed In WWI


AP: Zimbabwe’s sex workers on streets despite virus restrictions (Mutsaka, 6/17).

Reuters: Around 9% of Guinea-Bissau health workers have been infected with COVID-19 (Dabo et al., 6/16).

U.N. News: FROM THE FIELD: COVID-19 just the latest crisis facing Somalia (6/16).

Washington Post: Egypt thought it dodged the worst of the pandemic. But now hospitals are being overwhelmed (Raghaven, 6/17).


NPR: The Cost Of Thailand’s Coronavirus Success: Despair … And Suicide (Almendral, 6/16).

Washington Post: Beijing cuts flights, shuts schools as new coronavirus cases raise alarm (Shih, 6/17).


New York Times: Europe Rolls Out Contact Tracing Apps, With Hope and Trepidation (Horowitz et al., 6/16).

Reuters: E.U. proposes emergency leeway on gene engineering rules for coronavirus vaccines (Guarascio, 6/17).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Contact-Tracing Apps Launch Across Europe Amid Hopes for Broad Adoption (Pancevski et al., 6/16).


New York Times: President of Honduras Tests Positive for Coronavirus (Robles, 6/17).

NPR: Brazil Reports Big Surge In Coronavirus Infections (Neuman, 6/17).

Reuters: WHO Americas director says coronavirus pandemic still accelerating in the region (Boadle/Ore, 6/16).

Reuters: Brazil sees record daily coronavirus cases; official says outbreak under control (Fonseca/Stargardter, 6/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: In Brazil’s overcrowded jails, COVID-19 breeds fear and calls for change (Teixeira, 6/16).

U.N. News: COVID-19: U.N. agencies warn against rising hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean (6/16).

Washington Post: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández tests positive for coronavirus (Mendoza/Sheridan, 6/17).


AP: Months into virus, biggest one-day case spike worries Iran (Karimi et al., 6/17).

New Humanitarian: In Yemen, families suffer as COVID-19 dries up money from abroad (Craig, 6/16).

Reuters: Violence surges in Yemen after coronavirus truce expires (Barrington et al., 6/16).

U.N. News: Syrian refugees resort to ever more desperate measures to resist pandemic impact (6/16).


Financial Times: Coronavirus pandemic reignites U.S. abortion debate (Fedor, 6/17).

The Hill: U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses number of American service members who died in World War I (Klar, 6/16).

The Hill: Fauci on coronavirus infections: ‘We’re still in a first wave’ (Wise, 6/16).

Roll Call: Coronavirus Special Report: Unpacking COVID-19’s rise, fall and rise (Zeller et al., 6/16).

STAT: Rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations underscore the long road ahead (Joseph, 6/17).

STAT: Trump administration pledges future Covid-19 vaccines will be free for ‘vulnerable’ Americans (Facher, 6/16).

Wall Street Journal: Fauci Warns of Coronavirus Resurgence if States Don’t Adhere to Safety Guidelines (Armour, 6/16).

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Trump Administration Breaks Protocol By Nominating American To Lead Inter-American Development Bank

Washington Post: Trump administration nominates American to head Inter-American Development Bank, breaking with tradition
“The Trump administration said Tuesday it will nominate Mauricio Claver-Carone, the current head of Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, as president of the Inter-American Development Bank, breaking an unwritten agreement since the bank’s inception in 1959 that it would be led by a Latin American…” (DeYoung, 6/16).

Additional coverage of Claver-Carone’s nomination is available from Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Hill, and New York Times.

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British PM Johnson Announces Merger Of DFID, Foreign Commonwealth Office; Aid Groups, 3 Former PMs Denounce Move

BBC: International development and Foreign Office to merge
“The government department responsible for overseas aid is to be merged with the Foreign Office (FCO), the PM has announced. Boris Johnson told MPs abolishing the separate Department for International Development (DfID) would mean aid spending better reflected U.K. aims. He said the ‘long overdue reform’ would ensure ‘maximum value’ for taxpayers…” (8/16).

Devex: Aid groups deny they were consulted on DFID merger
“Figures from across U.K. civil society have disputed the prime minister’s claim that the government ran a consultation on the merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Development professionals told Devex they would have raised serious concerns if a consultation had taken place on the merger, which will see DFID merged with FCO to become the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in September…” (Worley, 6/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World’s poor ‘will pay price’, charities say as U.K. scraps aid department
“Charities and former British prime ministers condemned the government’s decision on Tuesday to merge its diplomatic and aid departments, warning it could not come at a worse time and that ‘the world’s poorest will pay the price.’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament the new joint ministry — the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office — would ‘unite our aid with our diplomacy,’ pledging to keep a commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on aid. … Lawmakers as well as former prime ministers David Cameron, Gordon Brown, and Tony Blair also condemned the announcement by Johnson, who said the new ministry would launch in September…” (Batha, 6/16).

Additional coverage of the merger is available from Devex, Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Mirror.

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More News In Global Health

Devex: ‘Optimized for the underserved’: A new diagnostic test built for low-income settings (Cheney, 6/17).

Devex: Can business step up on SDGs post COVID-19? (Saldinger, 6/17).

Homeland Preparedness News: Bavarian Nordic to increase bulk manufacturing of Ebola vaccines for Janssen (Galford, 6/16).

Homeland Preparedness News: IAEA launches new initiative to better prepare for future pandemics (Kovaleski, 6/16).

National Geographic: Will COVID-19 inspire the world to provide poor people with clean water? (Bhowmick, 6/16).

NPR: How Many People Transmit The Coronavirus Without Ever Feeling Sick? (Baughman, 6/17).

PBS NewsHour: Peter Piot spent his career chasing viruses. Then COVID-19 ‘got’ him (Brangham, 6/16).

PRI: Why many in public health support anti-racism protests — with some precautions amid coronavirus (Gordon, 6/15).

Reuters: World Bank approves $1 billion for health, education in Congo (Bujakera, 6/16).

STAT: STAT+ Conversations: A discussion with Dr. Ashish Jha (Branswell, 6/16).

The Telegraph: Overuse of antibiotics threatens twin pandemic of superbugs and Covid-19 (Hayes, 6/16).

Wall Street Journal: How Exactly Do You Catch Covid-19? There Is a Growing Consensus (Hernandez et al., 6/16).

Washington Post: Children are only half as likely to get infected with the coronavirus, study finds (Achenbach/Meckler, 6/16).

WIRED: We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn’t We? (Ratliff, 6/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Response, Including Importance Of Global Action On Climate Change, Impact On Economies, Global Hunger

BMJ: Routine vaccination during covid-19 pandemic response
Sonia Saxena, professor of primary care at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at the Imperial College London; Helen Skirrow, public health medicine specialist registrar at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at the Imperial College London; and Helen Bedford, professor of children’s health at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (6/16).

Devex: Opinion: Civil society is rebuilding resilience in coronavirus-stricken Caribbean
Marlene Attzs, lecturer in economics at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago (6/16).

Devex: Opinion: Why global health security is every company’s business
Alan Tennenberg, infectious diseases physician and chief medical officer of Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health, and Ashling Mulvaney, global head of Access to Healthcare, Global Sustainability at AstraZeneca (6/17).

Financial Times: It is critical to design our Covid-19 recovery for green challenges
Ban Ki-moon, former U.N. secretary general (6/16).

Foreign Affairs: The Looming Hunger Pandemic
David M. Beasley, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (6/16).

Foreign Policy: China’s Health Silk Road Is a Dead-End Street
Kristine Lee, research associate with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, and Martin Rasser, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security (6/16).

The Hill: In troubled times, climate change is the ‘black elephant’
R. David Harden, managing director of the Georgetown Strategy Group, and Suzanne Greene, program manager at the Sustainable Supply Chains initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Transportation & Logistics (6/16).

Project Syndicate: A Tale of Two COVID-19 Responses
Shahid Javed Burki, chair of the Shahid Javed Burki Institute of Public Policy (6/17).

Project Syndicate: Strengthening Africa’s Best Pandemic Defense
Assia Sidibe, program manager at UNITLIFE and senior Aspen New Voices fellow (6/16).

Project Syndicate: Tackling Pandemics at Their Root
Muhammad Hamid Zaman, professor of biomedical Engineering and International Health at Boston University (6/17).

STAT: To fight Covid-19, open access to scientific publishing
Peter Walter, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, and R. Dyche Mullins, professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California at San Francisco, both investigators with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (6/16).

Wall Street Journal: There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’
Mike Pence, vice president of the United States (6/16).

Washington Post: Contact tracing is the key weapon against covid-19
Danielle Allen, political theorist at Harvard University and contributing columnist for the Washington Post (6/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts, Releases Address COVID-19 Data, Impact On Certain Populations, Other Related Issues

BMJ Opinion: Covid-19: Male disadvantage highlights the importance of sex-disaggregated data
Katherine Ripullone, academic with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford and Cambridge University Hospitals, NHS East of England, Cambridge, and colleagues (6/17).

Center for Global Development: What Can Policymakers Learn about COVID-19 from Looking at Different Model Estimates?
Y-Ling Chi, senior policy analyst with CGD, and colleagues (6/16).

PAHO: PAHO Director calls to contain spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations in border areas (6/16).

Platform for Collaboration on Tax: Facing the crisis: the role of tax in dealing with COVID-19
Vitor Gaspar, director of the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF, and colleagues (6/16).

UNAIDS: Assessing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic among women and girls living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific (6/16).

UNICEF: Helping vulnerable adolescents fight COVID-19
Umar Swati, media manager with Abbottabad’s Water and Sanitation Services Company, and Abdul Sami Malik, communications specialist with UNICEF (6/16).

WHO: Leaders speak out about their concerns regarding older people in the context of COVID-19 (6/16).

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Blogs, Releases Address AI In Health Care, Reducing Inequality Through SDGs, U.S. Support For Global Fund In FY21, Pneumonia Vaccine Price Drop, Other Issues

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: AI: The complex solution to simplify health care
Drew Arenth, chief business officer at macro-eyes (6/16).

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Inequality, the SDGs, and the human rights movement in the U.S. and around the world
Sarah Mendelson, distinguished service professor of public policy and head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College (6/12).

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Senate Testimony from Chris Collins in Support of the Global Fund for FY 2021
Chris Collins, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (6/15).

UNAIDS: Online games fighting HIV stigma and discrimination in the Islamic Republic of Iran (6/16).

UNICEF: Birth registration can accelerate children’s access to justice: the African Union and UNICEF launch ‘No Name Campaign’ (6/17).

UNICEF: Pneumonia vaccine price drops dramatically for lower-income countries thanks to the Gavi pneumococcal Advance Market Commitment (6/16).

UNICEF: Universal child benefits critical in reducing poverty, new ODI and UNICEF report finds (6/17).

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From the U.S. Government

USG Donates Ventilators To India For COVID-19 Response

USAID: The United States Provides Ventilators To India To Battle COVID-19
“The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated a first shipment of 100 brand-new, state-of-the-art ventilators to India to assist its fight against COVID-19. This donation is part of President Trump’s generous offer of critical supplies in response to India’s urgent needs…” (6/16).

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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 17, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (6/17).

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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