KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

85% Of New Coronavirus Cases Occurring In Europe, U.S., WHO Says; Experts Look At Preparedness In Developing Nations

Al Jazeera: Can developing nations handle the COVID-19 pandemic?
“…The United Nations is asking for two billion dollars to help the poorer nations. Millions of people around the world do not have access to basic washing facilities, sanitation and hygiene. Some nations’ health systems lack medical supplies, or are under strain after natural disasters and other outbreaks. So, how can we avoid a catastrophe?…” (Smith, 3/24).

Newsweek: 85 Percent of New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Europe and United States, World Health Organization Says
“…Speaking at a Tuesday press briefing at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said that ‘the outbreak is accelerating very rapidly and the case numbers we received overnight will put that up considerably.’ Europe is now considered the new global epicenter of the outbreak by the WHO. … While the United States is not in a national lockdown, multiple states have issued stay-at-home orders to slow the coronavirus’ spread…” (Rodriguez, 3/24).

Reuters: Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world
“The United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said, as the U.S. negotiators reached an agreement on a $2-trillion aid package and India announced a nationwide lockdown in the world’s second-most populous country…” (Morland et al., 3/25).

AFRICA

Bloomberg: Ebola-Scarred Sierra Leone Calls Year-Long Coronavirus Emergency (de Bassompierre, 3/24).

The Guardian: Africa leads calls for debt relief in face of coronavirus crisis (Lamble, 3/25).

Quartz: South Africa’s poor face a health and safety quandary as the country goes into coronavirus lockdown (Young, 3/24).

U.N. News: U.N. in Nigeria strengthens COVID-19 containment and care, mobilizes $2 million for key support to Government (3/24).

ASIA

The Hill: China lifting restrictions in Hubei province (Johnson, 3/24).

Quartz: India’s swiftness in dealing with Covid-19 will decide the world’s future, says WHO (Sharma, 3/24).

U.N. News: COVID-19: Lockdown across India, in line with WHO guidance (3/24).

Wall Street Journal: China’s Progress Against Coronavirus Used Draconian Tactics Not Deployed in the West (Page, 3/24).

Washington Post: India’s 1.3 billion people go into lockdown for three weeks (Slater/Masih, 3/24).

EUROPE

CNBC: Coronavirus death toll rises again in Italy, while Spain turns ice rink into morgue (Amaro, 3/25).

CNN: Boris Johnson issues stay-at-home order, sending UK into lockdown to fight coronavirus pandemic (Picheta, 3/24).

The Hill: Spanish soldiers fighting coronavirus find nursing homes full of ‘dead and abandoned’ elderly (Bowden, 3/24).

Washington Post: In Russia, facial surveillance and threat of prison being used to make coronavirus quarantines stick (Dixon, 3/25).

LATIN AMERICA

Al Jazeera: How are countries in Latin America fighting coronavirus? (Rampietti, 3/25).

AP: Brazil’s Bolsonaro again says coronavirus concern overblown (Biller, 3/25).

The Hill: Mexican president: Coronavirus bailout will help poor, not major companies (Moreno, 3/24).

MIDDLE EAST

AP: Aid group says Mideast lockdowns hinder humanitarian efforts (Magdy et al., 3/25).

Reuters: Iran coronavirus toll rises to 2,077 after 143 new deaths (3/25).

U.N. News: Enable ‘all out effort’ to counter COVID-19 in war-ravaged Syria, urges top U.N. envoy (3/24).

Link to individual story

U.N. SG Calls On G20 Leaders To Boost Resources, Waive Sanctions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic; WHO Helps Developing Nations, Offers Advice Leading To Postponement Of 2020 Olympics

Reuters: U.N. chief calls on G20 nations to boost resources to aid coronavirus pandemic
“U.N. chief Antonio Guterres, in a letter to the Group of 20 (G20) major economies seen by Reuters, on Tuesday called for more resources to help keep the global coronavirus pandemic from reaching ‘apocalyptic proportions.’ The letter, dated Monday, urged the G20 to take steps including the launch of a coordinated stimulus package worth ‘trillions of dollars’ to help poor countries; a ban on tariffs, quotas, or other restraints on trade; and a call to waive sanctions to help certain countries get food and medical supplies…” (Mohammed, 3/24).

Reuters: Coronavirus pandemic battering global economy: surveys
“Business activity collapsed from Australia, Japan and Western Europe to the United States at a record pace in March as measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic hammer the world economy, cementing economists’ views of a deep global recession…” (Thomas et al., 3/24).

U.N. News: Ease sanctions against countries fighting COVID-19: U.N. human rights chief
“As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday called for an easing of sanctions against countries such as Iran to allow their medical systems to fight the disease and limit its global spread. Michelle Bachelet said humanitarian exemptions to sanctions measures should be authorized for essential medical equipment and supplies to avoid the collapse of any national healthcare system…” (3/24).

AP: U.N. council holds first video briefings of coronavirus era (Lederer, 3/25).

New York Times: U.N. Issues $2 Billion Appeal to Combat Virus and Urges Aid for Other Crises (Jakes, 3/24).

PRI: WHO fills gaps to fight COVID-19 in countries with weaker health systems, says spokesperson (Hills et al., 3/24).

U.N. News: G-20 summit provides chance to rally strongly against coronavirus threat: U.N. chief (3/24).

U.N. News: COVID-19: U.N. health agency advice informs decision to delay Olympic Games for first time since 1944 (3/24).

Link to individual story

Trump, Health Experts Disagree On Lifting Coronavirus Restrictions; VP Pence Says National Lockdown Not Discussed

The Hill: Pence says White House has not discussed national lockdown to combat coronavirus
“Vice President Pence on Tuesday said the White House has not discussed instituting a national lockdown to try and slow the spread of the coronavirus. ‘At no point has the White House coronavirus task force discussed what some people call a nationwide lockdown,’ Pence, who is leading the federal government’s response to the outbreak, said during a Fox News virtual town hall…” (Samuels, 3/24).

The Hill: Fauci says Trump’s Easter goal for lifting coronavirus restrictions should be ‘flexible’
“Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said President Trump’s stated timeline for the lifting of restrictions on parts of the country by Easter Sunday should be ‘flexible.’ Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a prominent member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, added it is important for public health officials to gauge how widespread coronavirus is in parts of the country that haven’t reported significant numbers of cases…” (Samuels/Chalfant, 3/24).

NBC: White House coronavirus coordinator says ‘fine line’ to balance economy, public health
“The White House coronavirus response coordinator on Tuesday suggested that ‘there’s a fine line’ between balancing the economic needs of Americans and the fight against the pandemic. Dr. Deborah Birx in an interview on ‘TODAY’ on Tuesday responded to questions about President Donald Trump’s assertion at a press conference Monday that the shutdown of many businesses around the country would last weeks, not months. ‘America will again and soon be open for business,’ he said…” (Kesslen, 3/24).

POLITICO: Health officials want Trump to ‘double down, not lighten up’ restrictions
“…The prospect of resuming typical business so soon has horrified these public health leaders, who see the debate as premature amid a crisis that the administration is just beginning to wrangle, according to eight people with knowledge of the administration’s discussions about its coronavirus guidelines. … It’s a battle that will intensify in the coming days as the country approaches the end of a 15-day period of extreme social distancing, which the White House launched on March 15…” (Cancryn/Cook, 3/23).

Washington Post: Trump versus the scientists: The president’s tug-of-war with experts over coronavirus policy
“…This portrait of mounting tensions between the president and the scientific community is the result of interviews with 15 senior administration officials, aides, outside advisers and others briefed on internal deliberations, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to share candid assessments. Trump has set up something of a gladiatorial process for managing the coronavirus, in which each adviser and expert argues forcefully for their specific perspective — be it public health or economic growth — creating a dynamic that has left Birx, Fauci, and others often offering Trump recommendations he is not eager to hear…” (Parker et al., 3/24).

Additional coverage of Trump’s, health experts’ views on coronavirus mitigation strategies is available from NBC, Vox, and Washington Post (2) (3) (4).

Link to individual story

Media Outlets Examine Relationship Between U.S. President Trump, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci

New York Times: Trump Has Given Unusual Leeway to Fauci, but Aides Say He’s Losing His Patience
“President Trump has praised Dr. Anthony S. Fauci as a ‘major television star.’ He has tried to demonstrate that the administration is giving him free rein to speak. And he has deferred to Dr. Fauci’s opinion several times at the coronavirus task force’s televised briefings. But Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, has grown bolder in correcting the president’s falsehoods and overly rosy statements about the spread of the coronavirus in the past two weeks — and he has become a hero to the president’s critics because of it. And now, Mr. Trump’s patience has started to wear thin…” (Haberman, 3/23).

POLITICO: Trump signals unity with Fauci amid talk of tension
“President Donald Trump on Tuesday sought to signal that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci are on the same page when it comes to combating the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the United States — insisting that his relationship with the nation’s top infectious disease expert has ‘been very good’ throughout the administration’s response to the global pandemic…” (Forgey, 3/24).

Additional coverage of Trump’s relationship with Fauci is available from The Hill, POLITICO, and Washington Post.

Link to individual story

U.S. Senate To Vote On $2T Stimulus Package Amid COVID-19 Pandemic; House Resolution Condemns China's Handling Of Outbreak

The Hill: Bipartisan resolution condemns China’s handling of coronavirus outbreak
“A group of House lawmakers led by Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) have offered a resolution condemning the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The bipartisan resolution, on which Moulton is currently the only Democratic signatory, accuses regional health and security authorities in China’s Hubei province and elsewhere in the country of tamping down on efforts by scientists to study the disease early on and publish information publicly about its effects…” (Bowden, 3/24).

The Hill: Democratic senator asks Pompeo to stop saying ‘Wuhan virus’
“Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is calling on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other State Department officials to stop using the term ‘Wuhan virus’ or ‘Chinese virus’ to refer to COVID-19. ‘I am obliged to point out that referring to this global pandemic by anything other than its appropriate, medical names is unhelpful at best, and at worst risks inflaming stereotypes, fear, and xenophobia in the face of a health crisis,’ Cardin wrote in a Tuesday letter…” (Bolton, 3/24).

Washington Post: Senate to vote Wednesday on $2 trillion coronavirus bill after landmark agreement with White House
“The Senate plans to vote Wednesday afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus package that is designed to flood the U.S. economy with money in an effort to stabilize households and businesses that have been floored by the coronavirus outbreak. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the breakthrough on the Senate floor around 1:30 a.m., after a long day of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials…” (Werner et al., 3/25).

Link to individual story

Media Outlets Examine U.S. Preparedness For Disease Outbreaks Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Fox News: U.S. was more prepared for pandemic than any other country, Johns Hopkins study found
“The United States was ranked the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019 by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS) — an assessment seemingly at odds with claims by Democrats that the Trump administration left the country vulnerable to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak…” (Re, 3/24).

POLITICO: DHS wound down pandemic models before coronavirus struck
“…From at least 2005 to 2017, an office inside [the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in tandem with analysts and supercomputers at several national laboratories, produced detailed analyses of what would happen to everything from transportation systems to hospitals if a pandemic hit the United States. But the work abruptly stopped in 2017 amid a bureaucratic dispute over its value, two of the former officials said, leaving the department flat-footed as it seeks to stay ahead of the impacts the COVID-19 outbreak is having on vast swathes of the U.S. economy…” (Lippman, 3/24).

STAT: ‘We didn’t follow through’: He wrote the Ebola ‘lessons learned’ report for Obama. Now he weighs in on coronavirus response
“Christopher Kirchhoff knows how to assess the U.S. government’s response to a public health crisis. Kirchhoff, an aide at the Pentagon who moved to the White House during the height of the West African Ebola outbreak, was tapped to write a 2016 report about the lessons the U.S. could learn from the epidemic — and the steps it could take to prepare for the next outbreak of an emerging infection. … STAT on Monday spoke with Kirchhoff, a political scientist by training, about what he learned from compiling the Ebola report and what he thought of the U.S. response to Covid-19. Kirchhoff — now a senior fellow at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic organization — spoke carefully, often pausing for several seconds before answering and continuing on haltingly and sometimes obliquely. He seemed uneager to unabashedly criticize the Trump administration’s response and particularly hesitant to target specific decisions or people, but his overall assessment was not positive…” (Joseph, 3/24).

Link to individual story

Treatments, Vaccines For COVID-19 Will Take Months To Research, Develop, Experts Say

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Drugs, Vaccine Are Many Months Away, Health Experts Say
“A federal health official on Tuesday sought to tamp down mounting excitement in some quarters over the potential for antimalarial drugs to treat the new coronavirus, though a Trump administration adviser voiced more optimism. … Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s Health Forum, held remotely by videoconference on Tuesday, Amy Abernethy, principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said antimalarial drugs like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine must be tested to determine whether they can fight off the deadly respiratory illness…” (Rockoff et al., 3/24).

Additional coverage of research into potential COVID-19 treatments and vaccines is available from AFP, STAT, USA TODAY, Washington Post, and Yahoo.

Link to individual story

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Urges Trump, Americans To Heed Health Experts' Advice During COVID-19 Pandemic

ABC: Joe Biden urges Trump, Americans to ‘listen to the doctors’ like Fauci on coronavirus
“Former Vice President Joe Biden, currently the Democratic front-runner in the 2020 presidential race, joined ABC’s ‘The View’ on Tuesday, urging Americans and the Trump administration to listen to the health experts leading the novel coronavirus response — criticizing the president in the process…” (Verhovek/Nagle, 3/24).

The Hill: Biden: I don’t want to be in a political fight with Trump over coronavirus
“Former Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he does not want to be in a political fight with President Trump over the coronavirus outbreak but that he would continue to call the president out on misinformation regarding the virus…” (Manchester, 3/24).

Reuters: Biden battles for attention as coronavirus threatens to blunt Democrat’s momentum
“Joe Biden’s presidential campaign installed a television studio in his basement over the weekend so the Democratic front-runner could demand bolder action from President Donald Trump on the coronavirus crisis and speak directly to the country. But when he delivered the debut speech on Monday morning, major cable news networks broadcast New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus briefing instead. It was yet another sign of the upheaval the global pandemic has wrought on a presidential campaign that just a week ago seemed to be moving full steam toward a Nov. 3 general election matchup between Biden and Trump…” (Hunnicutt et al., 3/23).

Additional coverage of Biden’s comments on the U.S. coronavirus response is available from Daily Beast, The Hill, New York Times, and POLITICO.

Link to individual story

Bill Gates Says U.S. Did Not Act Quickly Enough To Avoid Shutdowns Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

CNBC: Bill Gates says the U.S. missed its chance to avoid coronavirus shutdown and businesses should stay closed
“Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday that the United States missed its chance to avoid mandated shutdowns because it didn’t act fast enough on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. ‘The U.S. is past this opportunity to control (COVID-19) without shutdown,’ Gates said during a TED Connects program broadcast online. ‘We did not act fast enough to have an ability to avoid the shutdown’…” (Bursztynsky, 3/24).

Additional coverage of Bill Gates’s interview comments is available from GeekWire, The Hill, and Washington Times.

Link to individual story

On World TB Day, Experts Warn Widespread TB Infection Leaves Many More Vulnerable To COVID-19; WHO Issues New Consolidated Preventive Treatment Guidelines

AFP/France24: The other pandemic: world urged to learn TB lessons
“…On the occasion of World TB Day, experts warned Tuesday that the sheer number of people impacted by tuberculosis — which leaves survivors with permanent lung damage — means there are additional millions globally vulnerable to COVID-19…” (3/24).

DW: WHO: Tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest infectious disease
“Tuberculosis kills more people than any other infectious disease, according to information shared by the United Nations (U.N.) on Tuesday. Around 1.5 million people died from the bacterial infection in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, bringing attention to World Tuberculosis Day on March 24…” (3/24).

U.N. News: Amidst pandemic, now is the time for action to also beat tuberculosis, urges WHO
“…New WHO guidance aims to help countries accelerate efforts to stop those infected with TB from becoming sick by giving them preventive treatment, which will also cut down on the risk of transmission. The WHO chief highlighted the importance of continuing efforts to tackle longstanding health problems, including TB, during global outbreaks such as COVID-19…” (3/24).

Additional coverage of World TB Day and the potential impact of COVID-19 is available from SciDev.Net.

Link to individual story

New Humanitarian Examines COVID-19's Impact On Humanitarian Aid Sector

New Humanitarian: Beyond coronavirus: What’s keeping these aid workers up at night
“With borders now closing around the world and health services coming under huge strain as COVID-19 spreads, the humanitarian sector is scrambling to adapt to new challenges while continuing to provide assistance in ongoing emergencies and disasters. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, national governments, and central banks have reacted with massive stimulus packages, loans, and cash pledges to limit the economic and social fallout. This week, the U.N. will kick off an unprecedented global humanitarian response plan for the impact of the coronavirus on the world’s troublespots and poorest countries. … TNH asked representatives from across the sector — from heads of aid organizations to those on the front lines of crises — what is keeping them up at night, and what the best way forward might be…” (Dupraz-Dobias, 3/24).

Link to individual story

More News In Global Health

BMJ: Don’t forget chronic lung and immune conditions during covid-19, says WHO (Thornton, 3/24).

Devex: What the female reproductive tract could tell Kenyan researchers about HIV (Jerving, 3/25).

Dallas Morning News: George W. Bush, citing Birx and Fauci, has ‘absolute confidence’ in nation’s coronavirus experts (Benning, 3/24).

The Guardian: The isolated tribes at risk of illness from Amazon missionaries (Phillips, 3/23).

Healio: Does climate change facilitate the spread and transmission of dengue? (Gubler, March 2020).

IPS: Djibouti Intensifies Awareness-raising Efforts Against FGM (Phakathi, 3/24).

New York Times: Nearly a Million Children Left Behind in Venezuela as Parents Migrate (Turkewitz et al., 3/24).

New York Times: Welcome to the Virosphere (Zimmer, 3/24).

NPR: ‘The Dread Of Responsibility’ — Paul Farmer On The Pandemic And Poor Countries (Silver, 3/24).

PBS: How the discovery of HIV led to a transatlantic research war (Markel, 3/24).

Science Magazine: Researchers are tracking another pandemic, too — of coronavirus misinformation (Miller, 3/24).

Scientific American: Deaths of Young Children Are Decreasing Globally, But … (Montañez, April 2020).

Link to individual story

Editorials and Opinions

Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Financial Times: India’s virus battle shows struggle of global south
Editorial Board

“…[India’s] struggle to contain the outbreak is emblematic of special challenges facing much of the developing world. Its response will carry lessons for others. … Many problems India will face in preventing the spread of the pandemic are shared by countries from Indonesia to Brazil to Nigeria. Procedures taken for granted in western countries are extremely difficult to apply. Hand washing relies upon access to running water which is lacking in much of India and large parts of Africa. Where available, water is often in limited supply. Soap is a luxury for millions who struggle to put food on the plate. Social distancing is also unlikely to be feasible. … India and other developing countries will have to tailor measures to realities. … Western countries’ experiences with Covid-19 are already harrowing, with medical systems stretched beyond breaking point. Yet Italy, Europe’s worst affected country, has just over four doctors per 1,000 people. India has less than one. The average for sub-Saharan Africa is even lower. Without the very best health responses, and outside help, the impact of the pandemic on the emerging world could prove immeasurably worse” (3/25).

New York Times: Coronavirus Is Advancing. All Americans Need to Shelter in Place.
Editorial Board

“President Trump needs to call for a two-week shelter-in-place order, now, as part of a coherent national strategy for the coronavirus to protect Americans and their livelihoods. … [T]he United States has passed the point where aggressive, targeted efforts at tracking and containment, like those pursued by South Korea, have a realistic chance of success. … We are not suggesting that Mr. Trump has the authority to order a national lockdown, much less advocating that he attempt to enforce one. Instead, we are urging him to use the bully pulpit to put pressure on, and provide political cover for, governors to take the hard steps that are needed. … [T]hough it has already wasted time and opportunities to contain the coronavirus, the United States still has a chance to apply hard lessons learned by China, Italy, and other nations. A nationwide lockdown is the only tactic left to parry a viral adversary that is constantly on the move, and to buy the time for medical workers to prepare for what comes next” (3/24).

Washington Post: Trump’s goal of sending people back to work early is reckless
Editorial Board

“…Going back to work too soon is reckless. More time is needed to break chains of transmission. But at some point, return is inevitable. Until a vaccine or drug therapy is found, tested, and manufactured, getting back to normal will become a complex social, medical, economic, and political problem. The planning should start now, while there is time. A vast increase in testing is mandatory. Hospital-bed capacity will be a major bottleneck and must be alleviated. We will need more ventilators and protective masks. Today’s immediate crisis naturally is occupying the attention of the White House’s coronavirus task force. Mr. Trump should appoint one experienced person with overall authority to plan for and manage the next phase, which will take us into 2021 at the very least. That next phase cannot possibly begin in just more than two weeks, as Mr. Trump wishfully maintains. But even if we hunker down for longer, as China did, this stealthy virus could come roaring back if we do not make adequate preparations, beginning right now” (3/24).

Washington Post: Location data could help fight covid-19 — but privacy must be protected
Editorial Board

“…Last week, there were reports of talks among the White House, tech companies, and health experts about how to use location data to combat the coronavirus in the United States. … Participants in those preliminary talks stressed that they were investigating uses of aggregated anonymized data — they would remove information that could be associated with particular individuals and look at bigger-picture population movements. … Even so, any plan to use Americans’ location data in any manner should be accompanied by basic privacy assurances, including that private companies not use the data for non-coronavirus purposes, that the data never be shared with law enforcement or immigration agencies, and that the data be destroyed after the pandemic. … Even anonymized data could be valuable in this crisis; seeing people’s movements could help health officials determine whether they are adhering to social distancing orders. But, while there’s been no public discussion yet of plans to use more powerful forms of surveillance to combat the coronavirus, as the crisis worsens — and especially ahead of a possible second wave — enhanced surveillance tools might be appropriate. Public health experts note that location data, along with an aggressive testing regimen, could be extremely useful in identifying and isolating exposed individuals. All the more reason to get right from the start the balance of privacy and public health…” (3/24).

Washington Post: The coronavirus threatens all of humanity. All of humanity must fight back.
Mark Lowcock, United Nations’ under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization

“To stop the covid-19 pandemic, nations must look beyond their own borders. … On Wednesday, the United Nations system is launching a humanitarian campaign to fight the virus in the world’s most vulnerable countries. The coronavirus knows no borders, and we are only as strong as the weakest health system. Countries now battling the pandemic at home are rightly prioritizing those living within their borders. But the hard truth is that they will fail to protect their own people if they do not act to help the poorest countries protect themselves against covid-19. … We ask governments worldwide to do two things. First, strongly support this global humanitarian response plan. It will work only if it is properly funded. Second, sustain funding to existing humanitarian and refugee response plans. Diverting funding from them to fight the coronavirus would create an environment where cholera, measles, and meningitis can thrive, where even more children become malnourished and where extremists can take control. It would extend the breeding ground for the coronavirus. … [T]he pandemic’s course will be determined by the actions taken by countries, communities, and individuals. … Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity. The whole of humanity must fight back” (3/24).

The Conversation: TB, HIV and COVID-19: urgent questions as three epidemics collide
Emily Wong, faculty member at the Africa Health Research Institute at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (3/24).

Devex: Opinion: The anti-virus to global epidemics? Strengthen the health systems
Alice Bayingana and Miriam Frisch, both research associates to Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (3/25).

Fast Company: What will happen when the coronavirus hits parts of Africa already struggling with hunger?
Hajir Maalim, regional director for the Horn and Eastern Africa at Action Against Hunger (3/24).

Financial Times: This pandemic is an ethical challenge
Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times (3/24).

Foreign Affairs: The U.S. and China Could Cooperate to Defeat the Pandemic
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of CFR’s Global Health Governance Roundtable (3/24).

Foreign Policy: The Untold Story of How Iran Botched the Coronavirus Pandemic
Maysam Behravesh, PhD candidate in political science at Lund University and political analyst at Gulf State Analytics (3/24).

IPS: Stronger U.N. Leadership Needed to Cope with Coronavirus Threat
Anis Chowdhury, journalist at IPS, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former economics professor and United Nations assistant secretary general for economic development (3/24).

New York Times: Whenever I Throw Away a Mask, I Think of Venezuela and I Freak Out
Astrid Cantor, Venezuelan medical surgeon (3/24).

New York Times: We Need a Unified Military Command for Disaster Response
David Helvarg, executive director of Blue Frontier and author (3/23).

Project Syndicate: The Virus Turns South
Roberto Chang, distinguished professor of economics at Rutgers University, and Andrés Velasco, dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author (3/24).

Project Syndicate: Can Africa Withstand COVID-19?
Denis Chopera, medical virologist and program executive manager for the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE) at the Africa Health Research Institute, Aspen New Voices fellow, and African Century fellow (3/24).

Project Syndicate: The G20’s Pandemic Moment
Jim O’Neill, chair of Chatham House (3/24).

Project Syndicate: A Pandemic Is No Time for U.S. Economic Sanctions
Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor of sustainable development and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, and director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and Francisco Rodríguez, economist and director of the Oil for Venezuela Foundation (3/25).

Project Syndicate: The Arab World’s Perfect COVID-19 Storm
Nasser Saidi, former chief economist of the Dubai International Financial Center, former vice governor of the Bank of Lebanon, and former minister of the Economy and Industry in Lebanon (3/24).

Scientific American: Trust Is The Key to Fighting the Pandemic
Bo Rothstein, August Röhss chair in political science at the University of Gothenburg (3/24).

Scientific American: One Root Cause of Pandemics Few People Think About
Paul Shapiro, CEO of The Better Meat Co. and author (3/24).

STAT: We need smart coronavirus testing, not just more testing
Farzad Mostashari, CEO of Aledade Inc., and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania and member of former Vice President Joe Biden’s public health advisory committee addressing the coronavirus outbreak (3/24).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Opinion: COVID-19 emergency relief must reach everyone, including minorities and indigenous peoples
Claire Thomas, deputy director at Minority Rights Group International (3/24).

Washington Post: Chloroquine isn’t a miracle cure. A tiny amount can poison you.
Karen M. Masterson, professor of science journalism at Stony Brook University and author (3/24).

Washington Post: Biden campaign calls for U.S. international leadership on coronavirus
Josh Rogin, columnist at the Washington Post (3/24).

Washington Post: What it’s like being a New York ER doctor during this pandemic
Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center (3/24).

Link to individual story

Opinion Pieces Address TB-Related Issues In Light Of World Day

The Conversation: Just as in coronavirus, young people are key to stopping tuberculosis
Leslie A. Enane, assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine (3/24).

Devex: Opinion: Research and partnership the key to TB treatment progress
Pauline Williams, senior vice president of global health research & development at GSK (3/24).

Global Health NOW: We Need to Move Faster to Introduce New TB Drugs
Andre Zagorski, senior principal technical adviser for Management Sciences for Health (3/24).

Link to individual story

From the Global Health Policy Community

Brookings, CFR Posts Address Topics Related To COVID-19

Brookings Institution: Do countries have immune systems? 5 lessons from fragile states to help fight the coronavirus
Paul M. Bisca, a security and development adviser currently on a consulting assignment with the World Bank, outlines lessons learned from development work in fragile states that could be applied to the COVID-19 response (3/24).

Council on Foreign Relations: What a Global Health Survey Found Months Before the Coronavirus Pandemic
Lindsay Maizland, writer and editor at CFR, and colleagues discuss pandemic preparedness among countries prior to COVID-19, as well as how the countries are faring during the pandemic. They write, “Last year, a group of the world’s top public health security researchers warned that no country was fully prepared for a pandemic. The spread of a new coronavirus has shown that they were right. The 2019 Global Health Security Index showed that international preparedness for a health crisis was weak. The index, a project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, assesses 195 countries’ health security and capabilities. Researchers answered 140 questions about each country using publicly available data and gave each country a score. … But how have countries measured up against the real-life crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s how their scores compare to their responses…” (3/24).

Link to individual story

Response To Ebola In DRC Was 'Failure', Says MSF Head Of Emergencies

Médecins Sans Frontières: How the Ebola response failed the people of DRC
Karline Kleijer, head of emergencies at MSF, discusses the response to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, writing, “We cannot label the Ebola response a success. In fact, this cannot be labelled as anything other than a systematic and catastrophic failure that left thousands dead. Ultimately, we failed the people of DRC. … [I]t is paramount for all groups of the response, including MSF, to critically reflect on not only how we failed, but what system failures led to it, to avoid the same failures occurring in the future” (3/24).

Link to individual story

From the U.S. Government

President Trump, Vice President Pence, Members Of Coronavirus Task Force Provide Updates On COVID-19 During Press Briefings, Interviews

White House: Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing
In this press briefing held Tuesday, President Trump, Vice President Pence, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and other administration officials discuss developments regarding the U.S. response to COVID-19 (3/24).

White House: Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in a Fox News Virtual Town Hall
In this virtual town hall meeting aired by Fox News, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force answer questions regarding the U.S. response to COVID-19 (3/24).

White House: Remarks by Vice President Pence in a Fox News Virtual Town Hall
In this virtual town hall meeting aired by Fox News, Vice President Pence answers questions regarding the U.S. response to COVID-19 (3/24).

Link to individual story

PEPFAR Leadership Releases Statement On Program's COVID-19 Response

U.S. Department of State: Statement by Ambassador Deborah L. Birx and Dr. Angeli Achrekar on PEPFAR’s Decisive Action in the Context of COVID-19
Deborah L. Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator & U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, and Angeli Achrekar, principal deputy U.S. global AIDS coordinator, released a statement of behalf of PEPFAR discussing the program’s COVID-19 response. They write, “The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is deeply committed to continuing global progress toward controlling the HIV epidemic — country by country, community by community. As we join the world in confronting the unique challenges posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are dedicated to doing what is needed to serve, support, and protect our clients, communities, staff, and partners around the world. To advance these efforts, PEPFAR is taking decisive action in the following four priority areas. Ensuring continuity of care for people living with HIV … Leveraging PEPFAR-supported health systems and infrastructure … Reducing exposure of staff and clients to health care settings that may be overburdened and/or sources for potential exposure to COVID-19 … Providing flexibility for our programs in how to optimally serve our HIV clients in areas affected by COVID-19…” (3/23).

Link to individual story

USAID Administrator Mark Green Provides Statement Recognizing World TB Day

USAID: Statement From USAID Administrator Mark Green On World Tuberculosis Day
In a statement recognizing World TB Day, which takes place annually on March 24, USAID Administrator Mark Green notes, “This year, [World TB Day] comes at a time when communities across the globe are also working to control another devastating respiratory pandemic, COVID-19. While we can still reflect on the progress made in fighting TB, today serves as a worldwide call to acknowledge the tremendous global impact of contagious infectious diseases, and the need for accelerated action to address them and safeguard global health everywhere” (3/24).

Link to individual story

CDC Newsletter Highlights World TB Day

CDC’s “Around the World”: World Tuberculosis Day
The latest issue of CDC’s “Around the World” newsletter highlights a collection of resources on global tuberculosis in recognition of World TB Day on March 24 (3/24).

Link to individual story

New Issue Of NIH Fogarty International Center's 'Global Health Research News' Available Online

NIH Fogarty International Center: Global Health Research News
The most recent issue of the Fogarty International Center’s newsletter contains various articles addressing global health topics, including World TB Day, HIV treatments, and the coronavirus pandemic (March 2020).

Link to individual story

From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Resources Examine U.S. Global Health Assets In LMICs Amid Outbreak, U.S. Military's COVID-19 Response, Other Aspects Of Pandemic

KFF: Preparing for COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Leveraging U.S. Global Health Assets
This data note assesses where the U.S. government has existing global health assets that could be mobilized when and if needed to assist in the COVID-19 response in low- and middle-income countries (Kates/Moss/Oum, 3/20).

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of March 25, 2020 (3/25).

KFF: The U.S. Military and the Domestic Coronavirus Response: Key Questions (Michaud/Moss, 3/20).

KFF: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Glossary (3/18).

Additional KFF COVID-19 resources, including those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here.

Link to individual story