KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

COVID-19 Cases Rise Quickly Worldwide, With Pandemic Peaking In Several Large Countries, WHO Says

AP: U.N.: Pandemic appears to be peaking in several big countries
“A record level of new daily COVID-19 cases worldwide could suggest the pandemic is peaking in some large countries, even as the coronavirus has become ‘well established’ in some regions, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief said Monday. At a media briefing on Monday, Dr. Michael Ryan said ‘the numbers are quickly rising because the epidemic is developing in a number of populous countries at the same time,’ even as it appears to be stabilizing and even reducing in parts of Western Europe…” (Keaten/Cheng, 6/22).

CIDRAP News: Global COVID-19 total quickly tops 9 million
“Fueled by surges in countries with large populations such as Brazil, the United States, and India, the global COVID-19 total jumped to 9 million cases today, as the world registered its highest 1-day total of 183,000 cases. It only took 6 days for the pandemic total to rise from 8 million to 9 million cases, 2 days less than it took for the number to rise from 7 million to 8 million…” (Schnirring, 6/22).

PBS NewsHour: Where the coronavirus is spreading worldwide — and why
“The World Health Organization says Sunday marked the largest global daily surge in new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began: 183,000. In the U.S., daily fatalities from the disease have dropped since the initial peak this spring, but more than 600 people are still dying each day. Amna Nawaz reports and talks to Stephen Morrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies…” (Woodruff/Nawaz, 6/22).

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Pandemic Impacts Children Heavily, Could Push Millions More Into Poverty In South Asia, Cut Off Access To Education Globally, Reports Show

CNN: Pandemic could push an additional 120 million children in South Asia into poverty, says UNICEF
“An additional 120 million children in South Asia could be pushed into poverty due to the continuing spread of coronavirus throughout much of the region, according to a new report released by the United Nations children’s agency. South Asia, which is home to roughly one quarter of the world’s population, has seen a rapid acceleration in the number of people infected with the virus in recent weeks, with India’s total caseload rising to more than 440,000. The UNICEF report, titled, ‘Lives upended: How COVID-19 threatens the futures of 600 million South Asian children,’ notes that while children are less susceptible to the virus itself, they are being severely impacted by the fallout, ‘including the economic and social consequences of the lockdown and other measures taken to counter the pandemic’…” (Gupta, 6/23).

Devex: New UNESCO report shows COVID-19 leaving vulnerable children behind
“The ‘2020 Global Education Monitoring Report,’ released June 23 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, shows progress is slowing on the global out-of-school rate for primary and secondary school-age children, and COVID-19 will only make it worse. According to the report, an estimated 258 million children are out of school — and 97 million of these are in sub-Saharan Africa, and that number is growing. This means that by 2050, more than one in 10 adults in the region will not have completed primary education…” (Cornish, 6/23).

Global Citizen: Economic Fallout From COVID-19 Could Thrust Hundreds of Millions More Into Poverty: Report
“A new study has shown that the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could thrust hundreds of millions more into extreme poverty, bringing the total number to over 1 billion worldwide and reversing decades of progress on poverty reduction. In the study, researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and King’s College London used data from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Goldman Sachs, International Monetary Fund, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to consider various possible economic scenarios…” (Keck, 6/23).

Additional coverage of the UNICEF report is available from The Telegraph and U.N. News.

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Senior U.S. Health Officials To Testify Before House Committee; White House Officials Considering Steps To Position CDC As Coronavirus Scapegoat, POLITICO Reports

AP: Fauci to testify at a fraught time for U.S. pandemic response
“With coronavirus cases rising in about half the states and political polarization competing for attention with public health recommendations, Dr. Anthony Fauci returns to Capitol Hill on Tuesday at a fraught moment in the nation’s pandemic response. The government’s top infectious disease expert will testify before a House committee, along with the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services…” (Neergaard/Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/23).

POLITICO: Trump team weighs a CDC scrubbing to deflect mounting criticism
“White House officials are putting a target on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, positioning the agency as a coronavirus scapegoat as cases surge in many states and the U.S. falls behind other nations that are taming the pandemic. Trump administration aides in recent weeks have seriously discussed launching an in-depth evaluation of the agency to chart what they view as its missteps in responding to the pandemic including an early failure to deploy working test kits, according to four senior administration officials. … Aides have also discussed narrowing the mission of the agency or trying to embed more political appointees within it, according to interviews with 10 current and former senior administration officials and Republicans close to the White House. … Politically, Trump aides have also been looking for a person or entity outside of China to blame for the coronavirus response and have grown furious with the CDC, its public health guidance and its actions on testing, making it a prime target. … The moves are among the White House’s efforts to deflect attacks on President Donald Trump and place them elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy…” (Cook/Cancryn, 6/23).

ABC News: 3 questions to watch for as Fauci, Redfield testify before House panel (Flaherty, 6/23).

The Hill: WHO: More testing doesn’t explain COVID-19 spikes in U.S. (Wilson, 6/22).

The Hill: UPDATE: Trump denies he slowed down coronavirus testing (Hellmann/Samuels, 6/22).

MedPage Today: Racism Drives Inequities in COVID-19, House Panel Told (Firth, 6/22).

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Gilead To Test Inhalable Version Of Remdesivir For COVID-19 Treatment; Sanofi Announces Accelerated Timeline For Coronavirus Vaccine Testing

New York Times: Gilead to Test a Version of Remdesivir That Can Be Inhaled
“The American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences will soon start trials of an inhalable version of remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has shown promise as a therapeutic against the coronavirus in early trials, according to a statement released Monday. Remdesivir is currently given intravenously, which restricts its use to hospital settings…” (Wu, 6/22).

STAT: Sanofi, a straggler in the Covid-19 vaccine race, accelerates its plans
“The drug maker Sanofi Pasteur has been more cautious than some of its rivals in projecting when its Covid-19 vaccines might be ready. Now, it’s announcing an acceleration of clinical trials to reach the market faster — and striking a $425 million deal to broaden its partnership with a smaller biotech company to develop one of them. The start of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for a vaccine that Sanofi is developing with GSK has been pushed up to September from December. And a first-in-human study of the vaccine it is developing with Translate Bio, based on mRNA technology, will begin in the fourth quarter, Sanofi said Tuesday…” (Branswell/Feuerstein, 6/23).

Additional coverage of Gilead’s announcement is available from CNBC and Wall Street Journal.

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UNAIDS Urges Countries To Act To Prevent Potential HIV Drug Shortages Within Next 2 Months

U.N. News: Countries urged to act over potential HIV drug shortages, within next two months
“Stocks of medication for HIV patients could run out in the next two months, because of higher costs linked to lockdowns and COVID-19 border closures, UNAIDS said on Monday. In a call to countries and manufacturers to take pre-emptive action now, the agency said that both the production of generic antiretroviral drugs and their distribution are threatened. Millions of people could be at risk — particularly in developing countries — if they go without treatment, both to themselves and others from an increased chance of HIV transmission, according to the U.N. agency…” (6/22).

VOA News: U.N. Warns of Risk of Low Distribution of AIDS Drug Amid COVID Lockdowns
“… ‘It is vital that countries urgently make plans now to mitigate the possibility and impacts of higher costs and reduced availability of antiretroviral medicines,’ Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS, said in Monday’s press release. … UNAIDS said it is working with global partners to fundraise to try to offset the costs of sourcing material for these drugs and transporting them, but that partnership with governments in question will be necessary…” (6/22).

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Misinformation Hinders COVID-19 Response In Africa As Cases Rise; India Reporting Record Numbers; Physical Distancing Rules Spark Debate In U.K.; Saudi Arabia To Limit Hajj Attendance; U.S. Cases Continue To Rise, Sharply In Some States

AFRICA

Quartz Africa: With over 250,000 cases, misinformation is compromising Africa’s Covid-19 response (Kazeem, 6/22).

The Telegraph: Coronavirus infections pick up speed across Africa (Brown/Newey, 6/22).

U.N. News: COVID ‘exacerbating existing vulnerabilities’ in Central African Republic: Lacroix (6/22).

ASIA

ABC’s RN Breakfast: Why so many Indonesian children are dying from COVID-19 (Kelly, 6/23).

ABC (Australia): Why are so many Indonesian children dying from coronavirus? (Walden/Souisa, 6/18).

Foreign Policy: India Has Bungled Its Coronavirus Crisis (Parohit, 6/22).

New York Times: Under Coronavirus Lockdown, a Philippine Priest Hits the Streets (Aznar/Ives, 6/22).

Reuters: India reports record coronavirus cases, embassies warn on stretched hospitals (Pal, 6/22).

EUROPE

AP: German state governor orders lockdown measures in region that saw big COVID-19 outbreak at slaughterhouse (6/23).

Wall Street Journal: U.K. Bolsters Foreign-Takeover Defenses as Pandemic Drives Protectionist Moves (Dummett, 6/22).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Rips Through Italy’s Postwar Entrepreneurial Generation (Sylvers, 6/22).

Washington Post: Two meters? One meter plus? Social distancing rules prompt fierce debate in U.K. (Booth/Spolar, 6/22).

LATIN AMERICA

Reuters: Brazilians flock to beach as WHO says country undercounting coronavirus surge (Gaier et al., 6/22).

Science: ‘It’s a nightmare.’ How Brazilian scientists became ensnared in chloroquine politics (Wessel, 6/22).

MIDDLE EAST

AP: Saudi Arabia: Hajj will see at most ‘thousands’ due to virus (Batrawy, 6/23).

New York Times: Saudi Arabia Drastically Limits Hajj Pilgrimage to Prevent Viral Spread (Hubbard, 6/22).

Washington Post: Saudi Arabia announces drastic curbs to numbers for annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca (Dadouch, 6/23).

NORTH AMERICA

Al Jazeera: ‘Snowballing’ coronavirus cases in U.S. states as hospitals fill (6/22).

AP: Surging U.S. virus cases raise fear that progress is slipping (Lush et al., 6/23).

The Hill: U.S. COVID-19 cases rise, marking ugly contrast with Europe (Sullivan, 6/22).

New Humanitarian: At the U.S.-Mexico border, asylum chaos and coronavirus fear (Driver, 6/22).

STAT: As Covid-19 devastates communities of color, the government’s minority health experts are conspicuously quiet (Facher, 6/22).

Washington Post: Amid threats and political pushback, public health officials are leaving their posts (Weiner/Cha, 6/22).

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U.N. Urges Innovative Private Sector Partnerships, Focus On Achieving SDGs To Lessen COVID-19 Impacts

Forbes: The U.N.’s Covid-19 Response Team Is Calling For A New Era Of Collaborations With The Private Sector (And Kindness)
“At a time when across the world, all countries are faced with the pressing dual concerns of health and the state of the economy, the United Nations is emphasizing the importance of creating innovative partnerships as a way forward. With healthcare looking to rapid innovation from traditional and non traditional healthcare players, global players like the U.N. have made a call to entrepreneurs and innovators to take part in global solutions…” (Oppenheim, 6/22).

Xinhua: U.N. says achieving SDGs offers best option to reduce COVID-19 impact
“Countries will be better placed to recover from the human and economic devastation caused by COVID-19 by accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a policy brief of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (U.N. DESA) issued on Monday…” (6/23).

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E.U. Making Progress On Health, Poverty, Reversing Course On Gender Equality, Stagnant On Climate, Eurostat Report Says

Devex: E.U. going backward on gender equality, stagnating on climate action
“The European Union is going backward on key aspects of gender equality and has made no progress on climate action in the past five years, according to the latest report on the Sustainable Development Goals within the E.U. On Monday, Eurostat — the bloc’s statistics office — released the fourth edition of its annual report tracking E.U. countries’ progress toward the 2030 targets. ‘For SDG 13 “Climate action,” there was no progress over the last five years,’ according to a news release for the report, ‘while for SDG 5 “Gender equality” the E.U. has moved away from sustainable development objectives.’ By contrast, the report found ‘strong progress’ on peace and justice; ‘good progress’ on indicators including poverty eradication, health and well-being, and decent work and economic growth; and ‘moderate progress’ on measures for sustainable cities, quality education, and affordable and clean energy, among others…” (Chadwick, 6/22).

Additional coverage of the Eurostat report is available from AP and Reuters.

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New DRC Ebola Outbreak In Équateur Records 23 Cases As North Kivu, Ituri Outbreak Nears End

The Telegraph: DRC prays for good news as it battles second Ebola outbreak
“Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo are battling a new outbreak of Ebola just as one that has been raging on the other side of the vast country is on the verge of being declared over. … As of 20 June there have been a total of 23 cases, including 13 deaths. … This latest outbreak is the 11th in DRC and comes as the long-running epidemic 600 miles away in North Kivu and Ituri in the east, which has killed more than 2,000 people, is about to end. Thursday will mark 42 days since the last patient was discharged from a treatment center and, if no new cases are reported before then, it will mean it has finally been controlled…” (Gulland, 6/23).

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World Food Prize Winner Discusses Sustainable Agriculture, Links To Climate Change

NPR: Soil Prof Hits Pay Dirt: $250K Prize For Helping Farmers, Fighting Climate Change
“Rattan Lal just won a quarter of a million dollars for his scientific research on dirt. Or as he prefers to call it, ‘soil.’ And in fact, soil and money have something in common, says Lal, the newly named 2020 World Food Prize Laureate. Think of the ground as similar [to] a bank account. If you want to improve your bank account balance, you have to deposit more money than you withdraw. The same goes for soil. You have to make deposits to keep it healthy. … Lal believes sustainable agriculture practices are the ‘win-win-win option’ as the world grapples with the urgent challenges of climate change and food scarcity. ‘My philosophy has always been that the health of soil, plants, animal, people, and the environment is one indivisible, Lal says” (Craig, 6/22).

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More News In Global Health

BBC: The virus hunter who got Covid (Mazumdar, 6/23).

Devex: Q&A: How to protect health care workers from occupational exposure to hazardous drugs (6/23).

Forbes: Bill And Melinda Gates Have Sharp Words For U.S.’ Lack Of Leadership Role In Fighting Pandemic (Wang, 6/23).

The Guardian: ‘Divorce isn’t an option’: Afghan women find hope in saffron scheme (Glinski, 6/23).

Nature: Going back in time for an antibody to fight COVID-19 (Whittaker/Daniel, 6/22).

Science: ‘Has it peaked? I don’t know.’ NIH official details foreign influence probe (Mervis, 6/22).

SciDev.Net: ‘Alarming’ use of critical human antibiotics on crops (Irwin, 6/23).

Scientific American: How ‘Superspreading’ Events Drive Most COVID-19 Spread (Aschwanden, 6/23).

The Telegraph: Why Covid-19 kills nearly twice as many men as women (Nuki, 6/23).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Nobel winner unveils code to protect survivors of sexual violence in war (Milne, 6/19).

U.N. News: First Person: Ending violence against women — ‘men and boys — I am talking to you,’ says U.N. Deputy Chief (6/22).

U.S. News & World Report: Meet the Woman Behind the World’s Most Famous Coronavirus Tracker (Galvin, 6/22).

VOA News: HIV Drug Sped to Approval 25 Years Ago Revolutionized Fight Against AIDS (Presutti, 6/22).

Xinhua: Cameroon police seize huge quantity of fake medicines (6/22).

Xinhua: Feature: After escaping deadly bombings, Yemeni mother faces new challenge of cancer (6/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Research, Vaccine Development Efforts, SDGs

Bloomberg: The New Weapon in the Covid-19 War
Michael Lewis, Bloomberg Opinion columnist (6/22).

The Conversation: The coping mechanisms the DRC is putting in place as it faces Ebola, measles and COVID-19
Yap Boum, professor in the faculty of Medicine at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (6/22).

Devex: Let the learning begin — a WHO open-access platform could transform COVID-19 response
Lawrence O. Gostin, university professor at Georgetown University, founding O’Neill chair in global health law, faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at the Georgetown Law Center, and director of the WHO Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, and Eric A. Friedman, global health justice scholar at the Georgetown University Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law (6/22).

The Guardian: Covid-19 has changed everything from crime to policy. Legal systems must keep up
Shamila Batohi, South Africa’s national director of public prosecutions (6/23).

IPS: You’ve Got Money: Mobile Payments Help People During the Pandemic
Sonja Davidovic, economist, knowledge products lead, and digital expert at the IMF; Delphine Prady, senior economist at the IMF; and Herve Tourpe, head of digital advisory at the IMF (6/22).

IPS: Helping Bangladesh Recover from COVID-19
Ragnar Gudmundsson, IMF’s resident representative for Bangladesh (6/22).

Project Syndicate: The Pandemic Must Transform Global Agriculture
Mauricio Cárdenas, senior fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, and Juan Lucas Restrepo, director general of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (6/22).

Project Syndicate: What the Global Pandemic Response Is Missing
Anne O. Krueger, senior research professor of international economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and senior fellow at the Center for International Development at Stanford University (6/22).

Scientific American: The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine
William Haseltine, founder of Harvard University’s cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments and chair and president of ACCESS Health International (6/22).

The Scientist: Don’t Disparage the Pace of COVID-19 Research
John Loike, professor of biology at Touro College and University System, and Salomon Amar, vice president for research at New York Medical College, provost for Biomedical Research, and chief biomedical research officer at Touro College and University System (6/22).

Slate: What We Know — and Really Don’t Know — About the Future of COVID-19 Vaccines
Jonathan D. Herman, postdoctoral researcher at the Ragon Institute and infectious disease fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass General Hospital, and Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University, author, and organizer of COVID-Explained (6/22).

STAT: Covid-19 could cause a mental health crisis. It can also spark post-traumatic growth
Jay Behel, associate dean of student affairs and associate professor in the Division of Behavioral Sciences at Rush Medical College, and Jennifer A. Coleman, clinical psychologist and assistant professor with the Road Home Program for veterans and their families at Rush University Medical Center (6/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Sustainable development is the ‘policy vaccine’ for worst effects of COVID-19
Liu Zhenmin, United Nations under-secretary general for economic and social affairs (6/23).

Washington Post: Trump has raised the white flag in the fight against covid-19
Michael Gerson, columnist at the Washington Post (6/22).

Washington Post: Trump’s decision to pull U.S. out of WHO will boost China’s influence
Yanzhong Huang, professor at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations and senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations (6/23).

Washington Post: Colombia planned well for the pandemic. The region is reeling.
David Ignatius, columnist at the Washington Post (6/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts, Releases Address Impacts Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Response Efforts

African Arguments: Uganda’s COVID-19 neglect of minorities is bad for everyone
Moses Muhumuza, founder and director of the Universal Institute of Research and Innovations in Uganda, and Mark Kaahwa, academic and researcher based at the Mountains of the Moon University in Uganda (6/22).

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Coronavirus is an SOS: Mend our broken relationship with nature, says U.N. and WHO
Damian Carrington, The Guardian’s environment editor (6/22).

Solidarités International: Yemen: The Devastation Caused By Epidemics (6/23).

U.N.: COVID and the Rule of Law: A dangerous Balancing Act
Alexandre Zouev, U.N. assistant secretary general for Rule of Law and Security Institutions (June 2020).

UNAIDS: COVID-19 could affect the availability and cost of antiretroviral medicines, but the risks can be mitigated (6/22).

World Bank: How the World Bank is mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 in the health sector (6/22).

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From the U.S. Government

White House Issues Readout Of VP Pence's COVID-19 Response, Recovery Briefing For Governors

White House: Readout from the Vice President’s Governors Briefing on COVID-19 Response & Recovery
“[On June 22], Vice President Mike Pence led a discussion with the chief executives of approximately 50 states, territories, and the city of Washington, D.C., and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to discuss local, state, and federal COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, and America’s reopening…” (6/22)

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USAID Voucher Program Engaging Local Leaders, Supporting Pregnant Women In Uganda During COVID-19

USAID: Engaging Local Council Leaders To Support Pregnant Women During the COVID-19 Outbreak
This post discusses USAID’s Uganda Voucher Plus Activity in Uganda and how the program is engaging local leaders to help support pregnant women during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the post, “The Voucher Plus activity works to expand access to quality health services for rural women and newborns. Working with the activity, selected Village Health Teams and community agents sell vouchers at a subsidized rate of 4,000 Ugandan shillings. These vouchers can be redeemed for a service package that includes four antenatal care visits, delivery with skilled attendants, referrals for complications, postnatal care, and other services. The agents also share maternal and child health information with pregnant women, men, and youth…” (6/18).

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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 23, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (6/23).

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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