KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Leaders Pledge €7.4B At E.U.-Led COVID-19 Summit; U.S. Abstains From Meeting, Donating; U.N. SG Says 5x More Funding Likely Needed

ABC News: U.S. absent from global conference to raise money for coronavirus vaccine
“The European Union raised over $8 billion for the development and ‘universal deployment’ of a COVID-19 vaccine and other medical treatments during a virtual global summit Monday that the U.S. did not participate in, prompting doubt about the Trump administration’s support for those efforts. Senior administration officials said that the U.S. is supportive of the summit and that the administration has already provided $2.4 billion in total for the coronavirus response, including economic assistance, global health funding, and humanitarian aid. But even under repeated questioning, the two officials who briefed reporters would not say why the U.S. skipped the summit entirely…” (Finnegan, 5/4).

The Hill: Global leaders fall short of funding goal for COVID-19 response; U.S. donations absent
“…Noticeably absent from the worldwide pledging fund were the U.S. and Russia, while representatives from China; European leaders; heads of state from Japan, Canada, South Africa, Turkey, Israel, and Australia; Jordan’s King Abdullah II; and Saudi Arabia’s health minister provided video messages announcing their donations…” (Kelly, 5/4).

New York Times: World Leaders Join to Pledge $8 Billion for Vaccine as U.S. Goes It Alone
“…While the European Union may have led this global fund-raising effort, the bloc has struggled to get its own 27 members on the same page with health, travel, and financial measures to respond to the coronavirus crisis. And the details of how the money raised on Monday will be distributed still remain to be sorted out. The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union that spearheaded the initiative, said the money would be spent over the next two years to support promising initiatives around the globe. The ultimate goal is to deliver universal and affordable access to medication to fight Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus…” (Stevis-Gridneff et al., 5/4).

U.N. News: None of us is safe until we all are, says U.N. chief at E.U. push to end COVID-19 pandemic
“The ‘most massive public health effort in history’ is needed to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N. chief said on Monday, addressing a European Union pledging conference in Brussels. In a strongly-worded personal message, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed donor countries’ contributions to a more than $8 billion fund, to speed up the production of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to end the new coronavirus threat. But he said that five times that amount will likely be needed to put us all on ‘a path’ to a world free of the disease…” (5/4).

Washington Post: The world came together for a virtual vaccine summit. The U.S. was conspicuously absent
“…A senior Trump administration official said Monday the United States ‘welcomes’ the efforts of the conference participants. He did not explain why the United States did not join them. ‘Many of the organizations and programs this pledging conference seeks to support already receive very significant funding and support from the U.S. government and private sector,’ said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under White House rules for briefing reporters. … The U.S. government has provided … emergency health, humanitarian, economic and development aid for governments, international organizations, and charities fighting the pandemic…” (Booth et al., 5/4).

Additional coverage of the pledging summit is available from Devex, Forbes, The Hill, PBS NewsHour, POLITICO, Reuters (2), Roll Call, U.N. News, and Wall Street Journal.

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Financial Times Special Report Examines Efforts To Develop Novel Coronavirus Vaccine, Impacts On World's Poor, Campaign To Address Antimicrobial Resistance

Financial Times: FT Health: Combating Coronavirus
In this special report, the Financial Times “look[s] at efforts to ensure that the world’s poor are not left behind [in the race to develop a novel coronavirus vaccine] — and ask whether the pandemic will jolt policymakers into confronting the looming threat from antimicrobial resistance” (Multiple authors, 5/4).

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DFID Announces Measures To Support U.K. Development NGOs Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Devex: DFID sets out measures to support U.K. NGOs
“The U.K.’s Department for International Development has announced measures to help struggling organizations in the development sector, but NGOs are calling for more support. The lockdown measures and economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic have caused significant financial problems for the development community. Many NGOs have been forced to furlough staff or pause programming, as unrestricted public fundraising dries up. Some organizations fear they could go bankrupt in several months without support. The government announced measures to help charities working within the U.K. almost a month ago, but until now, there was little on offer for those focused elsewhere…” (Worley, 5/5).

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Mass Screening Helps S. Africa Stem COVID-19; India Prepares Repatriation Of Stranded Migrant Workers; Italy Begins Loosening Lockdown; U.K. Has Highest European Death Toll; Brazil Ill-Prepared For Virus

AFRICA

Financial Times: South Africa’s mass screening helps stem the coronavirus tide (Cotterill, 5/5).

ASIA

New York Times: This Drug May Cause Birth Defects. Japan’s Pushing It for Coronavirus (Dooley et al., 5/5).

New York Times: Coronavirus Survivors Want Answers, and China Is Silencing Them (Wang et al., 5/4).

Reuters: Police clash with migrant workers as India eases coronavirus curbs (Khanna, 5/4).

Reuters: Japan’s Abe extends state of emergency to May 31 (Leussink et al., 5/3).

Reuters: Bangladesh eases some restrictions, extends lockdown to May 16 (Paul/Wardell, 5/4).

Wall Street Journal: India Prepares Large-Scale Repatriation of Workers Stranded by Pandemic (Roy et al., 5/5).

EUROPE

Reuters: U.K. overtakes Italy with Europe’s highest official coronavirus death toll (Bruce, 5/5).

Reuters: France accuses Apple of refusing help with ‘StopCovid’ app (Kar-Gupta et al., 5/5).

Wall Street Journal: Italy Starts Easing Lockdown, Rebooting Its Stricken Economy (Sylvers et al., 5/4).

Washington Post: Italy loosens Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown (Harlan et al., 5/4).

LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN

AFP: For Haitians, die of hunger today or coronavirus tomorrow? (Baron, 5/4).

The Guardian: ‘For the lives of our mothers’: Covid-19 sparks fight for maids’ rights in Brazil (Griffin, 5/5).

New Humanitarian: COVID-19 compounds a long list of problems in Guatemala (Dupraz-Dobias, 5/4).

Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Sweeps Across Brazil, a Land Ill-Equipped to Fight It (Magalhaes et al., 5/4).

MIDDLE EAST

BBC: Coronavirus stokes Middle East boiling points (Bowen, 5/4).

NORTH AMERICA

Business Insider: Canada is dealing with the coronavirus far better than the U.S., which has 30% more deaths per capita. Here’s why (Pasley, 5/5).

The Guardian: Mexico’s López Obrador holds daily briefings rivaling Trump’s: ‘A spectacle without any value’ (Agren, 5/4).

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French Scientists Identify SARS-CoV-2 Case From December; WHO Urges Countries To Investigate Possible Early Cases; Several U.S. States Launch Retrospective Examinations

The Hill: French scientists discover nation treated coronavirus patient in December
“French scientists have identified the earliest-known case of COVID-19 in the nation: a patient who was treated in a hospital near Paris in December, an indication that the virus has been spreading across the world for far longer than had previously been known…” (Wilson, 5/4).

Reuters: WHO urges countries to investigate early COVID-19 cases
“The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was ‘not surprising,’ and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases…” (Farge/Nebehay, 5/5).

Wall Street Journal: The Search Is On for America’s Earliest Coronavirus Deaths
“…Across the U.S., health investigators have launched efforts to find previously unidentified deaths from Covid-19, in some cases looking far back enough to potentially rewrite the timeline of when the coronavirus first came to the country and began killing Americans. Public health officials and scientists say identifying the earliest deaths and infections in the U.S. is critical to understanding fully how the virus was transmitted and how deadly it is…” (Frosch et al., 5/4).

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Without Evidence, WHO Says U.S. Allegations On Coronavirus Origin Remain Speculative; Fauci Says No Evidence Supporting Virus Man-Made; China Pushes Ahead With Efforts To Develop Vaccine

AP: U.N.: U.S. hasn’t shared evidence on alleged coronavirus origin
“The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief said Monday that it has received no evidence from the U.S. government to back up allegations by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the coronavirus could have originated at a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan. ‘From our perspective, this remains speculative,’ Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters in Geneva…” (Keaten, 5/4).

National Geographic: Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab
“Anthony ‘Tony’ Fauci has become the scientific face of America’s COVID-19 response, and he says the best evidence shows the virus behind the pandemic was not made in a lab in China. Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shot down the discussion that has been raging among politicians and pundits, calling it ‘a circular argument’ in a conversation Monday with National Geographic…” (Akpan/Jaggard, 5/4).

Science: Pressure grows on China for independent investigation into pandemic’s origins
“China is facing growing pressure from national governments and international organizations to open its doors to an independent, international investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus causing the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as into the nation’s early response to the outbreak. So far, however, the Chinese government has given no public sign it is interested in cooperating. Its silence, and signs that China is stifling origins research by its own scientists, have fueled theories that the virus accidentally leaked from a lab there…” (5/4).

U.N. News: Global health experts advise WHO to identify animal source of COVID-19 virus
“International experts have advised the World Health Organization (WHO) to work to identify the animal origins of the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic and its transmission to humans, the U.N. agency said on Friday. The recommendation was among the outcomes of the latest meeting of the Emergency Committee on the new disease, established under global health regulations…” (5/1).

Business Insider: U.S. national security officials and global health experts are increasingly concerned China will develop a coronavirus vaccine first (Haltiwanger, 5/4).

New York Times: China’s Coronavirus Vaccine Drive Empowers a Troubled Industry (Wee et al., 5/4).

New York Times: Pompeo Ties Coronavirus to China Lab, Despite Spy Agencies’ Uncertainty (Sanger/Wong, 5/3).

POLITICO: Trump national security official says U.S. not considering ‘punitive measures’ against China (Forgey, 5/4).

Reuters: WHO says Pompeo remarks on virus origin ‘speculative,’ seeks data (Nebehay/Farge, 5/4).

Washington Post: The top U.S. diplomat turns pandemic bully (Tharoor, 5/5).

Washington Times: Watchdog group sues for Fauci, World Health Organization communications (Swoyer, 5/4).

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U.S. Head Of Preparedness Focused On Biodefense, With Benefits To Former Client Not Disclosed To Senate

Washington Post: Before pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.
“After Robert Kadlec was confirmed as President Trump’s top official for public health preparedness in 2017, he began pressing to increase government stocks of a smallpox vaccine. His office ultimately made a deal to buy up to $2.8 billion of the vaccine from a company that once paid Kadlec as a consultant, a connection he did not disclose on a Senate questionnaire when he was nominated. … The 10-year contract is part of an effort by Kadlec to bolster the nation’s stockpile of defenses against biological and chemical weapons, a focus he made a priority over preparing for a natural pandemic, an examination by The Washington Post found…” (Swaine et al., 5/4).

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White House Disclaims HHS/FEMA COVID-19 Projections Showing Surge In Daily Deaths By June; IHME Releases New Projections Based On Reopenings

Bloomberg: White House Disclaims Projection Showing Surge in Virus Outbreak
“An internal U.S. government projection shows the nation’s coronavirus outbreak vastly accelerating by June to more than 200,000 new cases and 2,500 deaths per day — far more than the country is currently experiencing. The White House disclaimed the projection, calling it an ‘internal CDC document’ but saying it had not been presented to President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force and didn’t comport with the task force’s own analysis and projections…” (Wayne, 5/4).

New York Times: Models Project Sharp Rise in Deaths as States Reopen
“…The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by the New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750. The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently…” (5/4).

Reuters: New projection puts U.S. COVID-19 deaths at nearly 135,000 by August
“A new forecast projects nearly 135,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States through the beginning of August mainly due to reopening measures under way, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said on Monday. The forecast U.S. death toll through early August totaled 134,475, a midrange between 95,092 and 242,890, the IHME said. The revised projection almost doubles the number of deaths foreseen in the United States since the last estimate in mid-April…” (McKay, 5/4).

Additional coverage of the different forecast models is available from Axios, CNN, and Washington Post.

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Trump Administration Draft Proposal Would Allow Taiwan To Attend WHA; National Security Team Considering Creation Of New Global Health Organization

Fox News: Draft proposal would bring Taiwan to the table at WHO, in bid to push back at China influence
“The Trump administration has circulated a draft proposal that would bring Taiwan to the table at the World Health Organization in an effort to push back against China and punish the global body for being ‘too China-centric,’ Fox News has learned. Further, the administration’s national security team is even considering the creation of a new global health organization — one that would have more U.S. influence — among a range of options…” (Turner/Singman, 5/4).

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U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments In Case Examining Whether Global Health Organizations' Local Affiliates Should Be Subject To U.S. 'Prostitution Pledge' Requirement

Reuters: U.S. Supreme Court to weigh overseas anti-AIDS funding restrictions
“The Supreme Court on Tuesday is set to hear arguments over whether a U.S. law violates constitutional free speech rights by requiring overseas affiliates of American-based nonprofit groups that seek federal funding for HIV/AIDS relief to formally adopt a stance against prostitution and sex trafficking…” (Hurley, 5/5).

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U.N. Rights Monitors Criticize U.N. Response To Haiti Cholera Epidemic In Letter To U.N. Secretary General

The Guardian: U.N. response to Haiti cholera epidemic lambasted by its own rights monitors
“Thirteen U.N. rights monitors have unleashed blistering criticism of the United Nations for its ‘deeply disappointing’ failure to make amends for having brought cholera to Haiti, causing the deaths of at least 10,000 people. In a letter to the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, the independent monitors excoriate the world body for making ‘illusory’ promises to the Haitian people. They note that having pledged $400m for a cholera clean-up mission, the U.N. has raised just $21m and spent ‘a pitiful’ $3m…” (Pilkington, 5/4).

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Microbe Found In Mosquitoes Has Potential To Block Malaria Transmission, Study Says

BBC: Malaria ‘completely stopped’ by microbe
“Scientists have discovered a microbe that completely protects mosquitoes from being infected with malaria. The team in Kenya and the U.K. say the finding has ‘enormous potential’ to control the disease. … The researchers are now investigating whether they can release infected mosquitoes into the wild, or use spores to suppress the disease. The malaria-blocking bug, Microsporidia MB, was discovered by studying mosquitoes on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. … And lab experiments, published in Nature Communications, confirmed the microbe gave the mosquitoes protection…” (Gallagher, 5/4).

Additional coverage of the study of Microsporidia MB is available from The Telegraph and UPI.

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More News In Global Health

AP: Virus-afflicted 2020 looks like 1918 despite science’s march (Woodward, 5/5).

BBC: Locusts destroying food supplies in the Horn of Africa (Burgess, 5/4).

CNBC: WHO says it will engage U.S. to make remdesivir coronavirus treatment more widely available (Feuer/Lovelace, 5/4).

Devex: Exclusive: Coronavirus hits development pros’ livelihoods (Chadwick/Smith, 5/5).

Devex: Watch: Sam Worthington on the pandemic’s financial impact on NGOs (Kumar, 5/5).

New York Times: As World Comes to Halt Amid Pandemic, So Do Migrants (Semple, 5/4).

NPR: Countries Worldwide Try To Figure Out When To Lift COVD-19 Restrictions (Frayer et al., 5/4).

PRI: Pandemic disrupts remittances, leaving immigrants’ families without lifelines (Campbell, 5/4).

Reuters: Pope says coronavirus vaccine must be shared worldwide (Pullella, 5/3).

SciDev.Net: Mental illness pandemic to follow COVID-19, experts warn (Owings et al., 5/4).

Wall Street Journal: U.K. Steps Up Cyber Defense of Institutions Involved in Coronavirus Research (Strasburg/Roland, 5/4).

Washington Post: A too-common horror for mothers in sub-Saharan Africa: Death of their children (Blakemore, 5/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss COVID-19 Pandemic, Including India's Response, Challenges In Africa

The Conversation: Coronavirus: corruption in health care could get in the way of Nigeria’s response
Obinna Onwujekwe, professor of health economics and policy and pharmaco-economics/pharmaco-epidemiology in the Departments of Health Administration & Management and Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the College of Medicine at the University of Nigeria; Charles Orjiakor, lecturer at the University of Nigeria; and Prince Agwu, researcher in the Department of Social Work at the University of Nigeria (5/4).

Financial Times: Philanthropic funding must fill the urgent coronavirus research gap
Alice Gast, president of Imperial College London (5/5).

Foreign Affairs: How to Get the Truth About the Pandemic
John J. Farmer, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University (5/4).

Foreign Affairs: Modi’s Coronavirus Test
Anubhav Gupta, associate director, and Puneet Talwar, senior fellow, both at the Asia Society Policy Institute (5/4).

Foreign Policy: The Coronavirus Is Cutting Off Africa’s Abortion Access
Neha Wadekar, Nairobi-based journalist at Foreign Policy (5/4).

The Guardian: Where India’s government has failed in the pandemic, its people have stepped in
Bharati Ramachandran, CEO of Barapani (5/5).

The Guardian: This is what you should be demanding from your government to contain the virus
Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh (5/4).

The Hill: Joe Biden makes mistake with new World Health Organization pledge
Madison Gesiotto, attorney who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign (5/4).

The Hill: Out of Africa: Remdesivir’s extraordinary journey to COVID-19
K. Riva Levinson, president and CEO of KRL International LLC (5/1).

IPS: The Unseen Link Between Clean Cooking and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Eco Matser, global climate change/energy and development coordinator at Hivos (5/4).

The Lancet: The COVID-19 response for vulnerable people in places affected by conflict and humanitarian crises
David Nott, co-founder of the David Nott Foundation (5/4).

New Humanitarian: Africa’s coronavirus safety nets cannot cover all
Rachel Strohm, PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley and co-founder of the Mawazo Institute (5/4).

New Yorker: Why Weren’t We Ready for the Coronavirus?
David Quammen, author and journalist (5/4).

New York Times: The World Is Helping Americans Who Don’t Always See It
Heather Hurlburt, director of the New Models of Policy Change project at New America (5/4).

Wall Street Journal: Weighing Sweden’s Coronavirus Model
Editorial Board (5/4).

Wall Street Journal: Boris and Bibi Ride Coronavirus Pandemic Popularity
Walter Russell Mead, James Clarke Chace professor of foreign affairs and the humanities at Bard College, Ravenel B. Curry III distinguished fellow in strategy and statesmanship at the Hudson Institute, and Global View columnist at the Wall Street Journal (5/4).

Washington Post: East Africa has weathered pandemics — and has a few things to teach the U.S.
Edward H. Carpenter, lieutenant colonel in the United States Marine Corps and United Nations peacekeeper in Africa, and Charli Carpenter, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (5/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Community Discusses COVID-19 In Africa, Response Summit, Vaccines, Other Pandemic Topics

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: A SwitchPoint Podcast for the Era of COVID-19
Casey Bishopp, communications officer at IntraHealth International (5/1).

Médecins Sans Frontières: MSF supports efforts to treat COVID-19 in Liberia (5/4).

ONE: Why access to vaccinations is key to end this crisis
Anne Paisley, senior editorial manager at ONE (5/5).

U.N.: Malawi braces for Covid-19 (May 2020).

U.N. Environment: Faith-based organizations can help the transition to a more sustainable post-COVID-19 world (5/4).

Wellcome: 5 matters of urgency for the Coronavirus Global Response Summit
Alex Harris, head of global policy with the policy and advocacy team at Wellcome (5/4).

World Food Programme: The United Arab Emirates supports the establishment of a global humanitarian lifeline to nations most exposed to COVID-19 (5/4).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Officials Discuss U.S. International Response To COVID-19 In Special Briefings

U.S. Department of State: Briefing With Senior Administration Official and Senior State Department Official On U.S. Global Leadership in the International COVID-19 Response
During this special briefing, senior officials discuss the U.S. international response to COVID-19 (5/4).

U.S. Department of State: Briefing With Director of the State Department’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources James Richardson
During this special briefing, James L. Richardson, director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, discusses U.S. efforts to address COVID-19 internationally, stating, “[T]he United States has been focused on winning the fight against Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases, and we’re doing the same in the fight against COVID-19. … [T]he United States remains the single largest country donor to the response efforts globally, building on our decades of leadership and experience. … As we have for decades, the United States stands ready to collaborate and cooperate with all partners and international organizations that demonstrate they are effective in executing global health programming and delivering solutions and results to that end. And we are doing the same today with COVID-19…” (5/4).

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From KFF

Recording Of KFF, GHC Virtual Town Hall On COVID-19 Available; Other KFF Resources Examine Global, Domestic Issues Related To COVID-19

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of May 5, 2020 (5/5).

KFF: KFF and Global Health Council Present a Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19 Response in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
KFF, in partnership with the Global Health Council (GHC), presented a discussion on Tuesday, April 28, about the challenges and opportunities of resource mobilization in response to COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Speakers shared updates on how COVID-19 is impacting global health programs and reviewed recent data of COVID-19 funding trends. This was the third discussion in the GHC conversation series on COVID-19. A recording of the webinar is available here.

Additional KFF COVID-19 resources, including those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here. KFF’s new blog series “Coronavirus Policy Watch” is available here.

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KFF Updates U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker

KFF: U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker
This tracker provides a listing of global health-related legislation being considered by the 116th Congress and was updated with legislation addressing the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 (5/4).

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