KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- U.N. SG Launches COVID-19 Roadmap To Help Nations Control Transmission, Recover
U.N. News: U.N. tallies action so far to fight COVID-19, and roadmap out of the pandemic
“Amid the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. has mobilized to save lives, control transmission of the virus, and ease the economic fallout, Secretary-General António Guterres told journalists on Thursday, speaking at the virtual launch of his report on the organization’s response to the crisis Not only does the report outline actions taken since the pandemic was declared, he said, it also offers a roadmap for building back better through greater global solidarity and unity…” (6/25).
- Germany, France Pledge Additional Funding, Equipment To WHO
NPR: Germany And France Promise New Financial Support To World Health Organization
“Less than a month after President Trump vowed to stop funding the World Health Organization, Germany and France say they will contribute financial backing to the agency in its fight against the coronavirus. Germany promised to give 500 million euros (over $560 million) in funding and equipment to the WHO this year, as the country assumes the presidency of the European Union. … France said it would give 90 million euros (about $100 million) to a WHO research center in Lyon as well as an additional contribution of 50 million euros ($56 million)…” (Schmitz, 6/25).
- European Commission, Global Citizen To Host June 27 COVID-19 Pledging Summit
Devex: Rockers and The Rock unite to boost COVID-19 funding momentum
“The European Commission and advocacy organization Global Citizen will hold a coronavirus pledging summit Saturday, aiming to mobilize additional funding for vaccines, tests, and treatments. … The summit follows a May 4 pledging conference convened by the commission. A European Union spokesperson told Devex by email that €9.8 billion ($11 billion) has been raised so far from the May 4 event. … Pledges announced Saturday will go toward the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator; Unitaid; the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund; and the International and Regional Response Network…” (Chadwick, 6/26).
- Media Outlets Examine Politicization Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Leadership In U.S., Brazil
Democracy Now!: How U.S. and Brazil Leadership That “Neglects Science” Led to Hemisphere’s Worst Coronavirus Crises
“As coronavirus infections worldwide approach 10 million, nearly half can be found in the two largest countries in the Americas: the United States and Brazil, which now has the worst infection rate in the world and could surpass the U.S. death toll next month. ‘What we see in the country is a reflection of the leadership that we have,’ says Marcia Castro, professor of demography, chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and co-chair of Harvard’s Brazil Studies Program, noting far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the pandemic’s severity and undermined efforts to enforce protective measures. We also discuss the country’s participation in vaccine trials, the impact of the crisis on Brazil’s Indigenous population, and the spike in COVID in the three most populous U.S. states of California, Texas, and Florida” (Goodman, 6/25).
Newsweek: Politicizing and Polarizing the Pandemic Pinned America As Global Epicenter
“…It has now been suggested the uptick in COVID-19 cases [in the U.S.] may, in part, be due to politicization of the pandemic, with a failure to coordinate a unified response across the country. In a study published in Science Advances, a team of political scientists analyzed over 30,000 tweets from members of the U.S. Congress. They found rapid politicization and polarization of the pandemic. ‘We found that once the parties started to figure out the political implications of the issue, polarization was evident in the tweets pretty quickly,’ study co-author John Green, from Ohio State University, said in a statement…” (Osborne, 6/25).
POLITICO: Trump ‘like a child’ in responding to coronavirus, Biden says
“Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday ripped President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and put forward his vision for expanding health care access by building on Obamacare. ‘[Trump’s] like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him — all his whining and self-pity,’ Biden said during a speech in Lancaster, Pa. ‘Well, this pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it, to lead’…” (Cohen, 6/25).
- U.S. Calls On Russia, China To Provide More Humanitarian Aid To Venezuela Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Reuters: U.S. urges Russia, China to give Venezuela more aid in COVID fight
“The United States called on Russia and China on Thursday to provide more humanitarian aid to their ally Venezuela in its fight against the growing COVID-19 epidemic. Venezuela, which has so far reported 4,048 cases of COVID-19 and 35 deaths to the World Health Organization (WHO), has jailed doctors and journalists for trying to expose the true extent of infections, Special Representative Elliott Abrams told a diplomatic event organized by the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva…” (Nebehay, 6/25).
- Nearly 25M Americans May Have Been Infected With Novel Coronavirus Based On Serological Survey, 10 Times Official Count, CDC Director Says
The Hill: CDC: Coronavirus may have infected 10 times more Americans than known
“Nearly 25 million Americans may have contracted the coronavirus, a figure 10 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday. In a briefing with reporters Thursday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said surveys of blood samples taken from around the country suggest that millions of Americans may have contracted the virus either without knowing it or with only minimal symptoms. For every one confirmed case, Redfield said, the CDC estimates that 10 more people have been infected…” (Wilson, 6/25).
- Pandemic Threatens Africa's Health Care Workforce; Multi-Dimensional Crisis Impacts Afghanistan; Europe Looks To Recover; COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise In Latin America; White House Task Force To Hold First Briefing In 2 Months
AP: Kenya: 3 people killed in clash with police over face masks (Odula, 6/26).
Axios: Coronavirus accelerates in Africa as economic damage deepens (Lawler, 6/25).
BBC: Coronavirus: How Africa’s supply chains are evolving (Russon, 6/25).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Africa’s unsung army of women wage war on COVID-19 (Bhalla/Wuilbercq, 6/25).
U.N. News: DR Congo: COVID-19 slows pace of reform, exacerbates fragile security situation (6/25).
Washington Post: The coronavirus is jeopardizing a ‘very, very finite’ workforce: Africa’s doctors and nurses (Paquette, 6/25).
AP: ASEAN tackles emergency virus fund, sea feud in video summit (Dinh/Van Dam, 6/26).
AP: AP Interview: Nepal preparing for new coronavirus cases (Gurubacharya, 6/25).
The Lancet: Access to health care under threat in Afghanistan (Devi, 6/27).
New Humanitarian: Lost in translation: Language barriers and the Rohingya response (Hölzl, 6/25).
New York Times: For Those Getting Married, a Searchable Domestic Violence Database (Wee, 6/25).
U.N. News: Coronavirus casts ‘huge shadow’ over Afghan life as multi-dimensional crisis continues (6/25).
Wall Street Journal: Covid-19 Overwhelms New Delhi’s Hospitals (Roy et al., 6/25).
AP: Portugal scrambles to regroup amid 100s of new virus cases (Hatton, 6/26).
AP: After waves of COVID deaths, care homes face legal reckoning (Leicester, 6/25).
Bloomberg: Covid Antibody Tests Not Ready for U.K. Roll-Out, Experts Warn (Mulier, 6/25).
New York Times: In Norway, Gymgoers Avoid Infections as Virus Recedes (Kolata, 6/25).
New York Times: Flare-Up in Virus Cases Sets Back Germany’s Efforts to Reopen (Eddy, 6/25).
The Telegraph: NHS treatment delays linked to more child deaths than coronavirus (Knapton, 6/25).
Wall Street Journal: Once the Center of the Coronavirus Crisis, Europe Now Looks Ahead With Hope (Stancati et al., 6/25).
NPR: COVID-19 Infection Rate In Rio’s Favelas Far Exceeds Official Count, A New Study Says (Reeves, 6/25).
Washington Post: Latin America’s coronavirus crisis is only getting worse (Tharoor, 6/26).
Reuters: Israel, Palestinians tighten restrictions as coronavirus reemerges (Rabinovitch et al., 6/24).
The Hill: White House coronavirus task force to hold first briefing in nearly two months (Samuels, 6/25).
The Hill: White House task force tracking coronavirus spikes even as Trump says virus is ‘going away’: report (Bowden, 6/25).
New York Times: As Virus Surges, Younger People Account for ‘Disturbing’ Number of Cases (Bosman et al., 6/25).
NPR: U.S. Sets Daily Record For New COVID-19 Cases (Katkov, 6/26).
POLITICO: States plead for help while White House touts success in curbing virus (Cancryn/Tahir, 6/25).
- News Outlets Examine Funding For Novel Coronavirus Diagnostic, Treatment, Vaccine Research, Challenges Of Vaccine Development, Distribution
Devex: Crafting a framework for Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine access (Jerving, 6/26).
NPR: This Coronavirus Doesn’t Change Quickly, And That’s Good News For Vaccine Makers (Hamilton, 6/26).
Reuters: Vaccine makers face biggest medical manufacturing challenge in history (Steenhuysen/Kelland, 6/25).
Reuters: COVID-19 vaccine-backer CEPI to buy 100 million vials from Stevanato (Kelland, 6/25).
The Telegraph: More than $8.5bn committed to finding drugs and vaccines to fight coronavirus (Gulland, 6/26).
- Children Generally Experience Mild Form Of Novel Coronavirus, European Study Shows
The Telegraph: Children only experience mild form of virus, European study finds
“Children with Covid-19 generally experience only a mild disease and deaths are very rare, according to the first Europe-wide study of children and adolescents with the virus. The study in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Child Health, which included 582 children aged between three days and 18 years old, found that although the majority were admitted to hospital (62 percent), fewer than one in 10 patients required treatment in intensive care (eight percent). Fatalities were also extremely rare, with just four deaths out of the 582 patients — less than one percent. Two of these patients had pre-existing medical conditions…” (Hayes, 6/26).
- New Reports, Interview Highlight Need For Food Systems Reform Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Climate Change
Devex: ‘Radical transformation’: COVID-19 shows urgency for food systems policy shifts
“A dramatic shift in global policy governing food systems is needed if the world is to sustainably feed a growing population during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, according to a new report by an independent arm of the Food and Agriculture Organization…” (Welsh, 6/26).
Devex: Watch: Gilbert Houngbo on food security and COVID-19
“Food insecurity is one of the most significant aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting millions of people. Gilbert Houngbo, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, has identified ‘three major pillars’ that will become more important as the world grapples with the effects of the coronavirus crisis on rural communities…” (Kumar, 6/25).
Xinhua: Global experts says paradigm shift key to avert post COVID-19 food crisis
“Countries must overhaul food production systems, ensure they are climate-resilient and profitable at small-holder level to avert hunger and malnutrition as the post-COVID-19 recovery gathers steam, experts said on Thursday. The international experts in a report titled “Actions to Transform Food Systems Under Climate Change” that was launched in Nairobi, said that a radical shift is required to ensure that agricultural systems meet dietary and financial needs of communities already battered by the pandemic…” (6/25).
- High Prices Hinder Access To Improved Treatment For Drug-Resistant TB; Pandemic-Related Disruptions In HIV, TB, Cancer Programs Expected To Increase Deaths
Devex: High price excludes patients from better treatment for drug-resistant TB
“…Johnson & Johnson, which markets bedaquiline under the brand name Sirturo [for the treatment of drug-resistant TB], has been accused of employing unfair tactics in an attempt to retain the drug’s patent and tighten its grip on the monopoly. Critics say this maintains high prices and makes the drug inaccessible to many, despite the involvement and contribution of public and philanthropic institutions in its development…” (Langat, 6/25).
Guardian (Nigeria): COVID-19 disruptions may raise cancer, HIV, TB cases, deaths globally
“Researchers have predicted a sharp rise in cases and deaths associated with cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and tuberculosis (TB) as a result of disruptions to health services by the COVID-19 pandemic globally. Also, mounting evidence from tissue studies and coronavirus patients suggest that the disease might trigger diabetes by damaging insulin-producing cells, even as the investigators established that persistent cough and fever were most prevalent symptoms associated with the novel virus…” (Muanya, 6/26).
- Experts Raise Concerns About Staff Departures Amid DFID, FCO Merger
The Guardian: DFID merger: experts warn of brain drain and damage to U.K.’s global standing
“Aid experts have warned of a brain drain of senior staff from the Department for International Development when it merges with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which could damage the U.K.’s international standing. Downing Street is facing growing anger from DFID staff over the timing of the merger announcement last week, and the manner in which it was done. The merger had been long trailed, but was announced without union consultation and with many staff finding out from the media…” (McVeigh, 6/25).
- More Aid Needed To Help Millions Of Yemeni Children At Risk Of Starvation, UNICEF Report Says
DW: Millions of Yemeni children could starve without urgent aid: UNICEF
“Millions of children in Yemen could be pushed towards starvation by the end of the year as the humanitarian crisis is compounded by a lack of funding as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, UNICEF said on Friday. A report by the United Nations children’s agency has indicated that the number of malnourished children under the age of five in the war-torn country could rise by 20% — to 2.4 million — unless the international community makes up for a massive shortfall in aid…” (6/26).
- Eastern DRC Ebola Outbreak Officially Ends, WHO Urges Vigilance; Concerns Grow About Équateur Province Outbreak, COVID-19, Other Health Challenges In Country
Devex: While Ebola outbreak ends in eastern DRC, WHO says no room for complacency
“After almost two years, the Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo is finally over. But the continuing outbreak in Équateur province and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continue to pose threats to health security in the country, region, and the rest of the world. … Response to the [Ebola] outbreak was characterized from the start by numerous challenges and controversies, and it had been disrupted several times because of conflict and violence. The World Health Organization had intended to declare the end of the region’s outbreak in April, but this was halted after new cases were reported just a few days before the scheduled announcement…” (Ravelo, 6/25).
SciDev.Net: New strain fears as fresh Ebola outbreak emerges
“Scientists fear a new Ebola strain might emerge in the Democratic Republic of Congo if two versions of the disease mix together to form a new, potentially deadlier version. Ebola is a highly contagious infectious disease that has a fatality fate of around 50 percent. There have been multiple outbreaks across Africa in the past decade. The DRC government [on Thursday] declared an end to the eastern outbreak — the tenth in the country — but World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned there was ‘still potential for flare-ups’ of this strain, calling for rapid response teams to remain in place…” (Abega/Broom, 6/25).
- More News In Global Health
AP: Zimbabwe copes with diarrhea outbreak which has killed 9 (Mutsaka, 6/26).
Borgen Magazine: Poor Sanitation in Kenya Leads to Water-Borne Diseases (Shusterman, 6/24).
Devex: What data tells us about the state of human rights (Cornish, 6/25).
Devex: Q&A: New CARE secretary-general on women and local leadership (Root, 6/25).
The Economist: How HIV/AIDS changed the world (6/25).
The Guardian: South Africa tobacco ban greeted with cigarette smuggling boom (Chingono, 6/26).
GZERO: GZERO Media Town Hall: Could our response to COVID help end poverty? (Santamaria, 6/26).
IPS: Q&A: Post COVID-19 Pandemic Let’s Stop the Next Wave of Medicalization over Mental Health (Sadeque, 6/26).
New York Times: Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere (Davenport, 6/25).
Reuters: Russia quits U.N. system aimed at protecting hospitals, aid in Syria (Nichols et al., 6/25).
Xinhua: Gavi wins prestigious Spanish prize for ‘int’l cooperation’ (6/25).
Editorials and Opinions
- Editorials, Opinion Pieces Address Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Country Responses, Gender Dimensions, Vaccine Equity
Globe and Mail: A humanitarian medical response for Canada? Until COVID-19, I couldn’t imagine it
Chris Houston, humanitarian adviser at Conquer COVID-19 (6/25).
The Guardian: Viruses do not take breaks. The world can learn from how the DRC is beating Ebola
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (6/25).
Euractiv: A Covid-19 vaccine must have a ‘global public good’ guarantee
Marc Botenga, MEP for Parti du Travail de Belgique (PTB) and a member of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament (6/25).
The Lancet: Offline: The second wave
Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet (6/27).
The Lancet: Generation coronavirus?
Editorial Board (6/27).
New York Times: Dr. Robert Gallo: The Case for a Stopgap Vaccine
Robert Gallo, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and co-founder of the Global Virus Network (6/25).
Project Syndicate: The Triple Crisis Shaking the World
Joschka Fischer, foreign minister and vice chancellor of Germany from 1998-2005 (6/26).
Project Syndicate: The Gendered Pandemic
Multiple Authors (June 2020).
Washington Post: The pandemic is not under control in the U.S. Just look at Texas
Editorial Board (6/25).
Washington Post: China has been bungling its post-coronavirus foreign policy
Fareed Zakaria, columnist for the Washington Post (6/25).
- Opinion Pieces Address Racism As Public Health Issue, At U.S. State Department, Getting Aid To People With Disabilities
Devex: Opinion: Getting aid to people with disabilities in times of crisis
Zacarias Zicai, Mozambique country director of global disability and development for Light for the World International (6/25).
Financial Times: Fighting racism should be considered a public health issue
Kwame McKenzie, chief executive of the Wellesley Institute and professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto (6/25).
New York Times: The State Department Was Designed to Keep African-Americans Out
Chris Richardson, immigration lawyer, former U.S. diplomat who served in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Spain between 2011 and 2018 (6/23).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Blogs, Releases Address Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Continuity Of TB Care; Women's, Children's, Adolescents' Health; Vaccine Access; Other Issues Related To Pandemic
BMJ Opinion: Ensuring continuity of tuberculosis care during the covid-19 crisis
Nathaly Aguilera Vasquez, program officer at the McGill International TB Centre at McGill University, and colleagues (6/25).
Brookings: Global macroeconomic scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic
Warwick J. McKibbin, nonresident senior fellow for economic studies and co-director of the Climate and Energy Economics Project at Brookings, and Roshen Fernando, PhD student in economic policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University (6/25).
Global Citizen: Ask an Expert: How Will the COVID-19 Vaccine Be Distributed to Everyone Who Needs It?
Joe McCarthy, staff writer at Global Citizen (6/25).
MSF Access Campaign: Ahead of Gavi Board meeting, MSF calls on Gavi to revise its global mechanism and demand pharma sell all COVID-19 vaccines at cost (6/23).
Plan International: COVID-19: Lockdown Linked to High Number of Unintended Teen Pregnancies in Kenya (6/25).
Evelyn Wambui, regional communications and media specialist for Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Miranda Atty, global press officer, both with Plan International (6/25).
Think Global Health: What We Ask About Coronavirus in Africa
Morine Amutorine, data analyst at United Nations Data Innovation Lab, and Elaine O. Nsoesie, computational epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Boston University School of Public Health (6/24).
Think Global Health: Why Private Sector Engagement Should Be Part of the Solution in the Developing World
Martin Short, chief executive officer of the Power of Nutrition (6/22).
U.N.: Nursing student protects her indigenous community against COVID-19 (June 2020).
UNAIDS: Germany ramps up its contribution to the HIV response with an extra €20 million to UNAIDS (6/25).
UNICEF: ‘To control COVID-19, we have to make hand hygiene accessible to all’ — UNICEF and WHO (6/26).
World Bank Blogs: The risks of a secondary health crisis for women and children: 3 things to know
Monique Vledder, practice manager at the Global Financing Facility (6/25).
- Blogs, Releases Discuss Climate Change, WASH, Reparations For Cholera Victims In Haiti, Other Global Health Issues
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “The Optimist”: Exemplars in Global Health: Q&A with Dr. Niranjan Bose
Niranjan Bose, managing director of Health & Life Sciences Strategy at Gates Ventures LLC (6/24).
Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Climate change merits a fiscal response like COVID-19’s
Vinod Thomas, visiting professor for the Asian Institute of Management and former senior vice president at the World Bank (6/24).
Global Citizen: 3 Key Takeaways From the ‘Power the Partnership: End the Neglect’ Event on NTDs (6/25).
Global Citizen: How I Found My Way to Advocating for Safe Water and Sanitation in Nigeria and Beyond
Toyin Saraki, founder-president of Wellbeing Foundation Africa (6/23).
Harvard Law Today: Seeking overdue reparations for U.N.-caused devastation in Haiti
Beatrice Lindstrom, clinical instructor and supervising attorney in Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (6/24).
UNAIDS: Survey shows that many people lack multimonth HIV treatment in Latin America (6/24).
WHO: 10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared over; vigilance against flare-ups and support for survivors must continue (6/25).
WHO: An update on the fight against antimicrobial resistance (6/24).
From the U.S. Government
- USAID Discusses Official Declaration Of End To Ebola Outbreak In Eastern DRC
USAID: USAID Welcomes the Official Declaration of the End of the Ebola Outbreak in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
“[On Thursday], the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an end to the Ebola epidemic that has affected the Eastern part of the country since August 2018. … The U.S. Government remains committed to strengthening health care in the DRC through public, private, and faith-based providers. Working together with our partners and the Government of the DRC, we aim to maintain zero new Ebola cases in Eastern DRC while building better and more resilient health institutions. We will continue to support rapid-response capabilities to ensure the Ministry of Health can contain any possible flare-ups or new outbreaks quickly. In addition, the U.S. Government has provided $16 million to health and humanitarian partners in the DRC to address the pandemic of COVID-19” (6/25).
- CDC's MMWR Discusses Progress Toward Global Polio Eradication
CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Polio Eradication — Worldwide, January 2018-March 2020
Anna N. Chard, epidemic intelligence service officer with the Global Immunization Division at CDC’s Center for Global Health, and colleagues, discuss progress toward global polio eradication, including vaccination, surveillance, and reported cases and isolations, writing, “Substantial efforts to address programmatic challenges are essential to safely restore and scale-up polio field activities in 2020, including use of a stabilized type 2 oral poliovirus vaccine to prevent new [circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2)] emergences” (6/26).
- New Issue Of NIH Fogarty International Center's 'Global Health Matters' Newsletter Available Online
NIH Fogarty International Center: FIC Global Health Matters
The most recent issue of the Fogarty International Center’s newsletter contains various articles addressing global health topics, including the NIH’s recently announced plan to provide $58 million over five years for a new initiative to catalyze data science and innovation in Africa, the announcement of new grants to support training for HIV and bioethics researchers, and the Fogarty community’s response to COVID-19 (May/June 2020).
- KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of June 26, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (6/26).
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.