KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. President Trump Declares National Emergency Over Coronavirus; Lawmakers, White House Continue Discussions Over Emergency Funding, Measures

CNBC: Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus
“President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic, and announced a set of specific measures aimed at stemming the effects of the outbreak. … The emergency declaration will free up as much as $50 billion in financial resources to efforts by states and U.S. territories to assist Americans affected by the outbreak…” (Mangan/Wilkie, 3/13).

The Hill: McConnell: Discussions underway on additional coronavirus bills
“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Sunday that discussions were already underway about additional coronavirus legislation beyond a second package that passed the House this weekend. … McConnell’s statement comes after the House passed a second coronavirus package over the weekend…” (Carney, 3/15).

POLITICO: White House eyes additional cash for Pentagon, Homeland Security as virus outbreak widens
“The White House budget office will send Congress another funding request that would potentially bolster the Pentagon, the VA and Homeland Security as federal agencies work to contain the coronavirus outbreak, an administration official told POLITICO on Sunday night…” (Emma, 3/15).

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Media Outlets Report On NIAID Director Fauci's Role In U.S. COVID-19 Response, Most Recent Guidance

AP: Straight-talking Fauci explains outbreak to a worried nation
“If Dr. Anthony Fauci says it, you’d be smart to listen. As the coronavirus has upended daily life across the globe, Fauci has become the trusted voice in separating fact and fiction. The fear and confusion of outbreaks aren’t new to Fauci, who in more than 30 years has handled HIV, SARS, MERS, Ebola, and even the nation’s 2001 experience with bioterrorism — the anthrax attacks. Fauci’s political bosses — from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump — have let him do the explaining because he’s frank and understandable, translating complex medical information into everyday language while neither exaggerating nor downplaying…” (Alonso-Zaldivar/Neergaard, 3/14).

POLITICO: ‘Hunker down’: U.S. scrambles to stem virus spread through extreme measures
“The nation’s top infectious diseases expert urged Americans on Sunday to hunker down as the U.S. scrambles to avoid an explosion of coronavirus cases that could kill hundreds of thousands, or even a million, people here. ‘I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,’ Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC’s Chuck Todd on ‘Meet the Press’…” (McCaskill et al., 3/15).

Science: Meet Anthony Fauci, the epidemic expert trying to shape the White House’s coronavirus response
“…Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold, Fauci has gained new prominence amid questions about whether the current White House has listened enough to scientists, and Fauci in particular, as it has struggled to respond. Reports that he had been stifled by the administration and had to clear all his comments with superiors helped spark widespread condemnation of the muzzling of scientists. Yet Fauci has become increasingly visible as the U.S. outbreak progresses, recently telling Congress that the country’s efforts to test people for coronavirus have been ‘failing.’ Fauci’s colleagues tell Science he is trying to walk a fine line, being honest to the public and policymakers but not so openly critical that he loses influence by being ignored or forced to resign…” (Travis, 3/14).

Additional coverage of Fauci’s role in the COVID-19 response and comments made by other officials is available from The Hill, POLITICO, and Wall Street Journal.

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Media Outlets Examine Trump Administration's, Other Politicians' Responses To COVID-19 Pandemic

The Guardian: Coronavirus: Trump’s stumbles and testing failures pave way to disaster, experts say (Milman, 3/15).

The Guardian: Bolsonaro and Amlo slammed for snubbing coronavirus warnings (Phillips/Agren, 3/15).

The Hill: Ex-Obama official fires back: Trump was left with ‘global health infrastructure’ (Folley, 3/15).

New York Times: ‘It’s Totally Ad Hoc’: Why America’s Virus Response Looks Like a Patchwork (Barry, 3/15).

POLITICO: The incompetence pandemic (Karnitschnig, 3/16).

STAT: President Trump just declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency. Here’s what that means (Facher, 3/13).

TIME: Trump’s State of Emergency Is an Admission of Failure by the U.S. Government (Hennigan/Bergengruen, 3/13).

Vox: How the U.S. stacks up to other countries in confirmed coronavirus cases (Scott/Molla, 3/16).

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Biden, Sanders Criticize Trump Administration's COVID-19 Response, Present Positions On Issue During Debate

The Hill: Biden, Sanders seek to show contrast with Trump on coronavirus
“Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are seeking to contrast their leadership styles and crisis management skills with President Trump’s amid increasing fallout over the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Both campaigns have picked apart Trump’s response to the pandemic, including over the lack of testing, while also showcasing what a response from their administrations would look like if faced with a similar health crisis…” (Manchester, 3/15).

Additional coverage of coronavirus-related discussion at the debate is available from The Atlantic, New York Times, and POLITICO.

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Trump Administration Allegedly Offered To Buy Exclusive Rights To German Company's Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates

Washington Post: German officials to discuss reported U.S. attempt to buy exclusive rights to coronavirus vaccine
“German officials will discuss a reported U.S. attempt to secure the rights to any coronavirus vaccine developed by a German pharmaceutical company in crisis meetings on Monday, the country’s interior minister said, amid concerns that the Trump administration was trying to monopolize the market. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, when asked to confirm a report the Trump administration was attempting to secure exclusive rights to any vaccine created by the German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac, said he had ‘heard from several other members of government today that is the case.’ Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday that the administration wanted to secure the rights and move research and development to the United States. The vaccine would be developed ‘only for the USA,’ the newspaper said…” (Morris et al., 3/15).

Additional coverage of this developing story is available from Financial Times, The Guardian, New York Times, and Reuters.

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News Sources Highlight Research Efforts To Create Coronavirus Vaccine

AP: Government official: Coronavirus vaccine trial starts Monday (Miller, 3/15).

Fox News: Coronavirus vaccine development: Where does it stand? (Givas, 3/13).

The Guardian: When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready? (Spinney, 3/16).

MedPage Today: COVID-19 Vax Moving at Brisk Clip, but Will It Be Soon Enough? (Susman, 3/10).

Washington Post: Federal vaccine development sites ill-suited to counter covid-19 epidemic (Willman, 3/15).

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WHO, Partners Launch COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund In Effort To Help Vulnerable Nations Address Pandemic

Devex: There’s a new fund for COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know.
“The World Health Organization announced a new fund Friday that would help the United Nations agency support at-risk and vulnerable countries, especially those with weak health systems, to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic…” (Ravelo, 3/13).

TIME: WHO Launches Historic Fundraising Effort to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic
“…The United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation will manage the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to address the need for money to prepare for and respond to the spread of the coronavirus. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the new fund on Friday. The organization anticipates a need of $675 million through April to address the worldwide outbreak, and said funding needs will likely increase as the crisis evolves…” (Gajanan, 3/13).

U.N. News: Coronavirus update: new WHO fund, Guterres calls for ‘prudence, not panic’
“In a video message recorded on Friday afternoon, U.N. chief António Guterres assured the world that the COVID-19 virus will peak, and the global economy will recover but, until then, ‘we must act together to slow the spread of the virus and look after each other’…” (3/13).

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Countries Worldwide Take Steps To Mitigate Impacts Of COVID-19

AP: Global economic coordination not happening in virus crisis (McHugh, 3/15).

AP: South Asian leaders call for cooperation on coronavirus (3/15).

Bloomberg: Latin America Announces Partial Lockdown Amid Coronavirus (Sanders, 3/14).

Financial Times: Containing coronavirus: the lessons from Asia (Hille/White, 3/16).

The Guardian: Egypt: rate of coronavirus cases ‘likely to be higher than figures suggest’ (Michaelson, 3/15).

The Hill: Italy reports 3,590 more coronavirus cases, its biggest one-day increase (Coleman, 3/15).

New York Times: Spain, on Lockdown, Weighs Liberties Against Containing Coronavirus (Minder/Peltier, 3/15).

Reuters: India proposes regional fund to fight coronavirus as cases exceed 100 (Goshal et al., 3/15).

Reuters: Crowded, poor South Asia sees steady rise in coronavirus cases (Shahzad et al., 3/16).

VOA: WHO: Europe Replaces China as Epicenter of Virus Pandemic (3/14).

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African Nations Announce Measures To Contain Spread Of Coronavirus

AP: Several African nations roll out measures to fight virus
“Several African countries have announced sweeping restrictions to try to contain the steady spread of the coronavirus, which has reached at least 25 of Africa’s 54 countries. South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, and Mauritania are among the countries that have imposed travel restrictions and closed schools…” (Magome et al., 3/15).

Additional coverage of African nations’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic is available from Reuters and Science.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Inequality, Disparity In Social, Economic Factors Worldwide

IPS: Why Rich Countries must Protect Developing Nations from Coronavirus Pandemic
“Governments in wealthy, first world countries must not ignore the plight of poorer nations battling the coronavirus or the disease will not be brought under control, global development experts have said…” (Holt, 3/16).

New York Times: As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread
“…In societies where the virus hits, it is deepening the consequences of inequality, pushing many of the burdens onto the losers of today’s polarized economies and labor markets. Research suggests that those in lower economic strata are likelier to catch the disease. They are also likelier to die from it. And, even for those who remain healthy, they are likelier to suffer loss of income or health care as a result of quarantines and other measures, potentially on a sweeping scale…” (Fisher et al., 3/15).

NPR: COVID-19’s Global Spread Among The Relatively Rich Has Been Remarkable
“As the coronavirus has spread around the world, the virus for some reason has affected the affluent and the socially well-connected, as well as working-class people…” (Beaubien, 3/14).

Quartz: Coronavirus prevention is far more accessible for the rich
“The single biggest way to protect yourself and others from coronavirus is to limit contact with others. For myriad reasons, this is far more accessible for wealthy people. … Covid-19 didn’t create these disparities, of course. But it puts them into sharp focus…” (Goldhill, 3/16).

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USAID Administrator Green Expected To Leave Job At Month's End

POLITICO: USAID chief to leave post
“The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development will leave the job at the end of this month, two people familiar with the move confirmed Friday, marking a high-level departure from one of the agencies tasked with responding to the global coronavirus outbreak. Former GOP Rep. Mark Green is expected to submit his resignation to President Donald Trump early next week, according to a senior administration official, who said USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, a Trump loyalist and former State Department foreign service officer, will take Green’s place as acting head…” (Orr/Lipman, 3/13).

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More News In Global Health

The Atlantic: Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus From India’s TB Struggle (Krishnan, 3/16).

BBC News: Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft board to focus on philanthropy (3/13).

Devex: Partnering with the private sector: Lessons on putting impact before good press (Cornish, 3/13).

The Guardian: ‘It became part of life’: how Haiti curbed cholera (Kushner, 3/16).

VOA News: Mozambique Struggles to Recover from Last Year’s Devastating Cyclone Idai (Schlein, 3/15).

Washington Post: Singapore introduced tough laws against fake news. Coronavirus has put them to the test (Mahtani, 3/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Global COVID-19 Responses

CNN: Trump is stepping up
Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, vice president at New America, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and author (3/14).

The Guardian: The U.K.’s Covid-19 strategy dangerously leaves too many questions unanswered
Anthony Costello, professor of global health and sustainable development at University College London (3/15).

The Hill: Juan Williams: Trump must be held to account over coronavirus
Juan Williams, author and political analyst for Fox News Channel (3/16).

Newsweek: Newt Gingrich: I am in Italy Amid the Coronavirus Crisis. America Must Act Now — and Act Big
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (3/13).

New York Times: Coronavirus Vaccine Dreams
Perri Klass, author (3/16).

New York Times: Can Russia Use the Coronavirus to Sow Discord Among Americans?
Thomas Rid, professor at Johns Hopkins University and author (3/16).

Project Syndicate: The COVID-19 Debt Deluge
Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, executive secretary of International Development Economics Associates, and member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (3/16).

TIME: In the Battle Against Coronavirus, Humanity Lacks Leadership
Yuval Noah Harari, historian, philosopher, and author (3/15).

Washington Post: I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.
Beth Cameron, vice president for global biological policy and programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (3/13).

Washington Post: How we can stop the next new virus
Jared Diamond, author, and Nathan Wolfe, virologist and founder of Metabiota (3/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Policy Community Publishes Blog Posts, Podcasts On Various Aspects Of COVID-19

Council on Foreign Relations: Why It Matters: Coronavirus
Gabrielle Sierra, host and podcast producer of Why It Matters (3/11).

ICTworks: Five COVID Response Insights for Digital Development Practitioners
Wayan Vota, cofounder of ICTworks and digital health director at IntraHealth International (3/13).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Recent Data and Maps to Help Find the Origin of COVID-19
Daniel Lucey, member of the IDSA Global Health Committee (3/15).

ONE: Coronavirus: What to know now and what we can learn
Jenny Ottenhoff, senior policy director for global health and education at the ONE Campaign (3/13).

Overseas Development Institute: Time to level up: international donor responses to the coronavirus
Sherillyn Raga, senior research officer in ODI’s International Economic Development Group (3/13).

Peter Attia MD: #97 — Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.: COVID-19: transmissibility, vaccines, risk reduction, and treatment
Peter Attia, founder of Attia Medical, PC (3/14).

U.N. Dispatch: Americans Really Trust the World Health Organization Right Now
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast (3/15).

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Parental Consent Laws May Impact Adolescents' Access To Health Services, UNAIDS Says

UNAIDS: Parental consent undermines the right to health of adolescents
This post provides an overview of data on parental consent laws and the potential impact on adolescents accessing health services, noting, “Many countries have laws or policies that prevent adolescents from accessing essential health services without the consent of a parent or guardian. The original intention may have been to protect minors, but these stipulations often have the opposite effect and increase the risk of HIV and other health problems among adolescents” (3/16).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC's MMWR Report Examines Singapore's Early COVID-19 Response

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Surveillance and Containment Measures for the First 100 Patients with COVID-19 in Singapore — January 2 — February 29, 2020
Yixiang Ng of the Ministry of Health in Singapore and colleagues review the first 100 cases of COVID-19 in Singapore to assess the impact of the country’s multi-pronged surveillance and containment strategy (3/13).

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NSF Publishes Range Of COVID-19 Resources

National Science Foundation: Coronavirus Information
The National Science Foundation published a range of resources on COVID-19, including guidance from U.S. government agencies and coronavirus-related research opportunities (March 2020).

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From KFF

KFF Resources Examine COVID-19 Cases Globally, Donor Funding For Outbreak

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of March 15, 2020 (3/15).

KFF: The U.S. Response to Coronavirus: Summary of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (Oum/Wexler/Kates, 3/11).

KFF: Donor Funding for the Global Novel Coronavirus Response (Moss, 3/10).

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