KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Pandemic To Shrink Global Economy By 5.2% This Year, World Bank Says, Confirming Deepest Recession Since WWII
U.N. News: Coronavirus: World Bank confirms deepest recession since World War Two
“The COVID-19 pandemic will shrink the global economy by 5.2 percent this year, representing the deepest recession since World War Two, and triggering a dramatic rise in extreme poverty, the World Bank said Monday in its latest Global Economic Prospects report. In rich countries, economic activity is expected to decline by seven percent as the coronavirus outbreak severely disrupts domestic demand and supply, trade, and finance activities, it said…” (6/8).
- WHO Warns Nations To Maintain Vigilance As World Sees Record High COVID-19 Cases Recorded On Sunday, Countries Begin To Loosen Lockdowns
U.N. News: No time to take ‘foot off the pedal’ as coronavirus pandemic worsens: WHO
“The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening globally, with more than 136,000 cases recorded on Sunday: the highest number in a single day, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). ‘More than six months into this pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal,’ said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking on Monday during his regular briefing on the crisis…” (6/8).
AP: In poor regions, easing virus lockdowns brings new risks (Cheng et al., 6/9).
CNBC: Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare,’ WHO says (Feuer/Higgins-Dunn, 6/8).
Financial Times: Coronavirus numbers — what we have learnt from the pandemic (Cookson, 6/8).
The Hill: Sunday marked new global peak for coronavirus (Wilson, 6/8).
NPR: Even In A Pandemic, WHO Believes That Public Protests Are Important (Huang/Aubrey, 6/8).
Reuters: WHO says pandemic ‘far from over’ as daily cases hit record high (Nebehay/Farge, 6/8).
U.N. News: Solidarity is the world’s ‘best line of defense’: U.N. General Assembly president (6/8).
UPI: WHO warns against ‘complacency’ in COVID-19 battle amid protests (Lotus, 6/8).
Vox: These 7 countries have the most worrying Covid-19 outbreaks (Scott, 6/8).
Wall Street Journal: As Countries Reopen, Many Avoid a Second Wave of Covid-19 Cases — So Far (Douglas et al., 6/8).
- Media Outlets Examine Trump's Withdrawal From WHO, Efforts To Reverse Announcement
The BMJ: Global health under fire: Trump and covid are just two of the threats
“On 29 May 2020 President Donald Trump announced a halt to U.S. funding for the World Health Organization, claiming that the body had mismanaged its efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. The announcement came after a series of threats over the past few months. WHO regularly has to chase American funding. The U.S. has not paid its mandatory dues for 2020, nor has it paid most of 2019’s bill … It is not alone, however: others in arrears include major funders such as China … In an interview with The BMJ before Trump’s most recent announcement, Amanda Glassman, executive vice president at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., said she didn’t think a change in U.S. funding would immediately affect WHO’s coronavirus efforts. ‘But it could have devastating long term impacts,’ she said…” (Kardas-Nelsonl, 6/8).
Vanity Fair: Exclusive: The Secret Plan to Unwithdraw From the WHO After Trump’s ‘Bizarre,’ ‘Ruinous’ Exit
“…The stunning announcement came 11 days into a frantic scramble by career health officials and U.S. diplomats to salvage America’s relationship with the WHO after Trump lashed out at the organization in a four-page letter citing its ‘alarming lack of independence’ from China. According to documents obtained by Vanity Fair, officials were still compiling a coherent set of steps that the WHO could take to satisfy Trump when he made his unilateral decision to pull out. Now, Vanity Fair has learned, secret negotiations aimed at reversing Trump’s decision have begun between Ambassador [Andrew Bremberg, the U.S. ambassador in Geneva,] and the WHO’s director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. A phone call Saturday between the two men resulted in a possible framework agreement to restore the relationship, which the U.S. diplomatic corps views as essential to the global fight against coronavirus and myriad other public health issues…” (Eban, 6/8).
Xinhua: U.S. exit from WHO to undermine global fight against COVID-19: experts and officials
“The U.S. exit from the World Health Organization (WHO) would undermine international efforts to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that guarantee public health and save lives, officials and experts have warned. … Experts have voiced their concerns over the U.S. decision, saying the move is undermining the irreplaceable role of the WHO in coordinating global efforts in combating COVID-19” (6/8).
- Satellite Data Suggest Novel Coronavirus Might Have Emerged Earlier In Wuhan; Chinese Companies Step Up As Global Humanitarian Donors; China Demands Proof Of Vaccine Interference From Sen. Rick Scott
ABC News: Satellite data suggests coronavirus may have hit China earlier: Researchers
“…Using techniques similar to those employed by intelligence agencies, the research team behind the study analyzed commercial satellite imagery and ‘observed a dramatic increase in hospital traffic outside five major Wuhan hospitals beginning late summer and early fall 2019,’ according to Dr. John Brownstein, the Harvard Medical professor who led the research. Brownstein, an ABC News contributor, said the traffic increase also ‘coincided with’ elevated queries on a Chinese internet search for ‘certain symptoms that would later be determined as closely associated with the novel coronavirus.’ Though Brownstein acknowledged the evidence is circumstantial, he said the study makes for an important new data point in the mystery of COVID-19’s origins…” (Folmer/Margolin, 6/8).
AP: China’s companies emerge as global donors in virus pandemic
“…The pandemic marks the debut of China’s business elite as global humanitarian donors alongside their American, European, and Japanese counterparts. [Jack] Ma, Alibaba, and other Chinese companies and tycoons are donating hundreds of millions of dollars of medical supplies, food, and cash in dozens of countries…” (McDonald, 6/9).
UPI: China slams U.S. senator for remarks on coronavirus vaccine
“China is demanding evidence it is interfering in the global development of a novel coronavirus vaccine, following comments from U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida. Beijing’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing on Monday that Scott should submit proof of Chinese meddling in vaccine development…” (Shim, 6/8).
- GAO Report Examines Infectious Disease Modeling, Provides Recommendations For Improvement
Homeland Preparedness News: GAO makes recommendations on infectious disease modeling
“A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examines how federal agencies use infectious disease modeling to fight outbreaks and what can be done to improve them. The report, titled ‘Infectious Disease Modeling: Opportunities to Improve Coordination and Ensure Reproducibility,’ also looks at how these models can be improved. The GAO says the Department of Health and Human Services needs to improve the effectiveness, better coordinate efforts, and instruct CDC to establish guidelines on modeling…” (Kovaleski, 6/8).
- Schools Reopen In South Africa, Asia Amid Safety, Dropout Concerns; Backlash In Brazil After COVID-19 Data Withheld; Venezuela Receives Pandemic Aid From Iran; 60% Of U.S. Naval Carrier Soldiers Positive For Coronavirus Antibodies
Reuters: Schools reopen in South Africa as parents worry about safeguards (Toyana, 6/8).
Devex: Interactive: The multilaterals funding the COVID-19 response in Southeast Asia and Pacific (Buan/Sarmenta, 6/5).
New York Times: New Zealand Lifts Lockdown as It Declares Virus Eliminated, for Now (Cave, 6/8).
Reuters: U.N. expert says some are ‘starving’ in North Korea (Nebehay, 6/9).
Reuters: Pakistan cracks down on safety breaches, coronavirus cases top 100,000 (Peshimam, 6/8).
Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus and Social Distancing: Why This South Korean City Can’t Quit (Yoon, 6/8).
Wall Street Journal: It Took Decades to Get Asia’s Poor Into Schools. The Pandemic Is Driving Many to Drop Out (Solomon, 6/8).
Reuters: Moscow’s lockdown ends as coronavirus cases in Russia pass 485,000 (Tétrault-Farber et al., 6/9).
Wall Street Journal: Pandemic Upends Putin’s Plans to Raise Russia’s Dwindling Birthrate (Simmons, 6/8).
AP: Concealing virus is latest Bolsonaro effort shore up base (Biller/Savarese, 6/9).
The Guardian: ‘Enormous disparities’: coronavirus death rates expose Brazil’s deep racial inequalities (Phillips, 6/9).
New York Times: Furious Backlash in Brazil After Ministry Withholds Coronavirus Data (Londoño et al, 6/8).
NPR: The Pandemic And Legal Abortion: What Happens When Access Is Limited? (Sarmiento, 6/8).
Reuters: Venezuela says flight arrives from Iran carrying COVID-19 aid (Sequera et al., 6/8).
AP: Yemen’s rebels crack down as COVID-19 and rumors spread (Michael, 6/9).
Reuters: Saudi Arabia considers limiting haj pilgrims amid COVID-19 fears (El Yaakoubi/Rashad, 6/8).
Reuters: Exclusive: In Navy study, 60 percent of carrier volunteers have coronavirus antibodies (Ali/Stewart, 6/8).
Washington Post: 14 states and Puerto Rico hit highest seven-day average of new coronavirus infections (Bellware/Dupree, 6/8).
- Pharmaceutical Companies Advance Research Into Vaccines, Therapies For Novel Coronavirus; Questions Around Access To Potential Vaccine Remain
ABC (Australia): When coronavirus vaccine is released, there won’t be enough to go around. Who will get it first? (Uibu, 6/9).
HealthDay News: HealthDay Reports: Experts Optimistic in Search for COVID-19 Vaccine (Gordon, 6/8).
The Hill: Inside the race to map the coronavirus (Wilson, 6/9).
Homeland Preparedness News: Reps. Kuster, Jeffries introduce bill to ensure mass production of COVID-19 vaccine (Kovaleski, 6/8).
New York Times: Can a Vaccine for Covid-19 Be Developed in Record Time? (Mukherjee et al., 6/8).
Project Syndicate/Econ Films: The Race for a Vaccine (6/8).
Reuters: Gilead’s remdesivir shows promise in COVID-19 study on monkeys (Mishra, 6/9).
Reuters: AstraZeneca wins fresh U.S. backing in race for COVID-19 treatment (Aripaka, 6/9).
Reuters: Explainer: What are antibody therapies and who is developing them for COVID-19? (Erman, 6/9).
Reuters: E.U. watchdog aims for speedy approval of remdesivir as COVID-19 treatment (Aripaka, 6/8).
- Nonprofits, Donors Balance Decisions On Whether, How To Pivot Their Programs To Address COVID-19
Devex: The COVID-19 pivot: ‘We don’t all need to become about the pandemic’
“The COVID-19 crisis has forced the neglected tropical disease sector to halt mass drug administrations, which are at odds with social distancing. The END Fund, an initiative that pools investments from donors and directs them to programs to end the most common NTDs, sees clear overlaps between preventing COVID-19 and preventing NTDs, such as the importance of hand-washing. The organization has launched a new fund to support health workers responding to the pandemic while also preserving the gains that have been made in ending NTDs. … A range of nonprofits, including those that do not typically respond to pandemics, are pivoting their programming as a result of COVID-19. … But there is a risk of organizations diverting time and resources from critical programming that addresses some of the very problems the pandemic has made visible. Nonprofits and donors alike are asking themselves how much they should pivot in response to the current crisis…” (Cheney, 6/9).
- U.K.'s DFID Should Remain Independent From Foreign Office, International Development Committee Recommends
Devex: DFID must remain independent, say watchdog politicians
“The group of politicians tasked with scrutinizing U.K. aid has called for the Department for International Development to remain an independent body with Cabinet-level leadership. The recommendations were made by the cross-party International Development Committee, which published an interim report Tuesday on its wide-ranging inquiry into the effectiveness of U.K. aid…” (Worley, 6/8).
The Telegraph: Dfid is one of government’s strongest assets and should remain independent, say MPs
“…Just days after the general election in December there were reports that Dfid and the Foreign Office had been asked to submit plans for a merger of the two departments. Boris Johnson has long declared his skepticism for Dfid retaining its independence and in January last year — six months before he became party leader — he called for a ‘unified Whitehall voice’ on foreign policy. … A merger of the two departments is widely opposed by external development experts and officials across Whitehall…” (Gulland, 6/9).
- Up To 12 Ebola Cases Identified In New DRC Outbreak; U.N. OCHA Releases $40M For Response
Reuters: Up to 12 infected in Congo’s new Ebola outbreak: WHO
“Up to 12 people have been found infected with Ebola in a new outbreak of the deadly disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. … There have now been nine confirmed cases and three probable cases of the disease in and around Mbandaka, the WHO said. Six of those people have died, it added…” (Bujakera/Holland, 6/8).
VOA: U.N. Provides $40 Million in Response to New Ebola Outbreak, Other Emergencies in DR Congo
“The U.N. has released $40 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund to help tackle a new outbreak of Ebola and other health and humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The re-emergence of Ebola in Mbandaka, in DRC’s Équateur province, a week ago has dashed hopes of finally bringing this deadly disease to a timely end…” (Schlein, 6/8).
- More News In Global Health
AP: World leaders won’t gather at U.N. for first time in 75 years (Lederer, 6/8).
Devex: NGOs defend breastfeeding as COVID-19 misinformation rages (Welsh, 6/9).
International Business Times: HIV Prevention: New Injection Given Every 8 Weeks Can Replace Daily PrEP Pills (Ramaswamy, 6/8).
PRI: Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health amid COVID-19 (Gordon, 6/8).
Science: Who’s to blame? These three scientists are at the heart of the Surgisphere COVID-19 scandal (Piller, 6/8).
The Telegraph: David Miliband: lack of global leadership puts coronavirus control at risk (Rigby, 6/8).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Adopting Local Responses, Relevance To Politics, Economics
The Conversation: South Africa must adopt a localized response to COVID-19. What it would look like
Kaymarlin Govender, research director at the Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD); Ayesha BM Kharsany, senior scientist at CAPRISA; Gavin George, program leader at HEARD; and Sean Beckett, research fellow at HEARD, all at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (6/8).
Foreign Affairs: The Pandemic and Political Order
Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University (July/August 2020).
Foreign Affairs: All Epidemiology Is Local
Robert Malley, president and CEO of the International Crisis Group, and Richard Malley, infectious diseases physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (6/8).
The Guardian: ‘Evil forces’: how Covid-19 paranoia united the wellness industry and rightwing conspiracy theorists
Brigid Delaney, Guardian Australia columnist and author (6/7).
IPS: Politics of the Pandemic Pains: WHO is to Blame?
Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, principal research fellow at ISAS at the National University of Singapore (6/9).
New Humanitarian: This global pandemic could transform humanitarianism forever. Here’s how
Heba Aly, director at the New Humanitarian (6/8).
POLITICO: The State Department Is the Wrong Place to Coordinate the Pandemic Response
Brian Atwood, administrator of USAID from 1993 to 1999 during the administration of President Bill Clinton, and Andrew Natsios, administrator of USAID from 2001 to 2006 during the administration of President George W. Bush (6/9).
Project Syndicate: Explaining the Pandemic Performance Differential
Jim O’Neill, chair of the Chatham House (6/8).
Project Syndicate: Protecting Midwives and Mothers During the Pandemic
Sally Pairman, chief executive at the International Confederation of Midwives, and Roopa Dhatt, founder of Women in Global Health (6/9).
Project Syndicate: Preventing an Emerging-Market Meltdown
Andrés Velasco, dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science (6/9).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- MFAN Co-Chairs Urge Trump Administration To Reconsider WHO Withdrawal
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: MFAN Urges Trump Administration to Reverse Course on World Health Organization Withdrawal
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) co-chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels, and Tessie San Martin delivered a statement on behalf of MFAN addressing the Trump administration’s decision to withdrawal from the World Health Organization. According to the statement, “The Modernizing Foreign Assistance [Network] is deeply concerned about the proposed withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO) and we urge the Trump administration to reverse course. Backing away from this highly important, although imperfect, tool for fighting the global pandemic undermines the health and safety people around world, including the American people…” (6/8).
- Blog Posts, Videos, Releases Address Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
Center for Global Development: Early Health Technology Assessment for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Christopher Matthew Neil Painter, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) fellow with the HITAP International Unit, and colleagues (6/8).
Center for Global Development: In the Race to Develop A Vaccine For COVID-19, Is A Pull For R&D Essential Or Optional?
Kalipso Chalkidou, director of global health policy and senior fellow at CGD, and colleagues (6/8).
Center for Global Development: Resilience in Developing Nations
Nancy Birdsall, senior fellow and president emeritus of CGD, and colleagues (6/8).
Health Affairs Blog: COVID-19 Reveals An Urgent Need To Reimagine What A System Of Health Should Be
David D. Fukuzawa, managing director of the Kresge Foundation’s Health Program (6/8).
Human Rights Watch: Covid-19 Exposes Healthcare Shortfalls (6/8).
ONE: David Oyelowo asks Gayle Smith how we build a global COVID-19 response (6/8).
ONE: Danai Gurira asks Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala about COVID-19 priorities (6/8).
ONE: Julia Roberts asks Anthony Fauci about the power of science (6/8).
PAHO: PAHO issues guidance to reduce COVID-19 transmission among indigenous, afro-descendant groups (6/8).
UNAIDS: COVID-19 lockdown in Wuhan: Community group delivers HIV medicine (6/8).
UNAIDS: Targeting sex workers is not the answer (6/8).
World Bank: The Global Economic Outlook During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Changed World (6/8).
World Economic Forum: How cutting-edge AI is helping scientists tackle COVID-19
Pascale Fung, professor of electronic and computer engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (6/8).
From the U.S. Government
- USAID Announces Up To Additional $200M To Accelerate Reductions In Maternal, Newborn, Child Mortality, Morbidity In High-Burden Countries
USAID: USAID Announces Up To An Additional $200 Million To Accelerate Reductions In Maternal, Newborn, And Child Deaths
“On May 22, 2020, the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the third in a series of new global health awards to accelerate reductions in maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity in high-burden countries. This award, valued at up to $200 million and subject to annual appropriations, is part of the MOMENTUM suite of projects, which aims to increase the capacity of host-government institutions and local non-governmental organizations to introduce, deliver, scale-up, and sustain the use of evidence-based, high-quality maternal, reproductive, newborn, and child health care and voluntary family planning. … This MOMENTUM award will focus on addressing the impacts of fragility — whether triggered by political instability, natural disasters, conflict, or violence — on the health and well-being of women, newborns, and children…” (6/8).
- USAID Provides Details On U.S. Support For COVID-19 Response Efforts In Uzbekistan, India
USAID: The United States Supports Uzbekistan’s Efforts To Combat COVID-19
“On June 5, the U.S. Embassy handed over essential reagents for COVID-19 testing to Uzbekistan’s Agency of Sanitary and Epidemiological Wellbeing (ASEW) as part of the United States’ assistance to Uzbekistan to combat COVID-19. … This is the first set of testing supplies being donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The donation includes 60 boxes of QIAGEN RNA reagent, enough to conduct 15,000 tests. A second shipment consisting of 40 boxes of QIAGEN RNA kits, enough for 10,000 tests, will arrive in Uzbekistan within a few weeks…” (6/7).
USAID: Bolstering India’s Preparedness And Response To COVID-19
This fact sheet provides an overview of U.S. assistance to support India’s COVID-19 response efforts, including coordination with the government, integration of COVID-19 response in basic health services, support for people living with HIV and TB, assistance for women with disabilities, engagement with the private sector and other stakeholders, assistance for Tibetans living in India and Nepal, integration of COVID-19 response in water and sanitation activities, and assistance to ensure a resilient power sector post COVID-19 (6/8).
- KFF Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of June 9, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 have been added to the tracker (6/9).
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.