KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N. Increases COVID-19 Pandemic Appeal; SG Guterres Calls For End To Hate Speech Globally; Poor Struggle To Work, Access Food Amid Lockdowns

AP: Amid pandemic, the world’s working poor hustle to survive
“From India to Argentina, untold millions who were already struggling to get by on the economic margins have had their lives made even harder by pandemic lockdowns, layoffs, and the loss of a chance to earn from a hard day’s work. … How the world’s poor get through this pandemic will help determine how quickly the global economy recovers and how much aid is needed to keep countries afloat…” (Batrawy et al., 5/8).

AP: U.N. chief says pandemic is unleashing a ‘tsunami of hate’
“U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday the coronavirus pandemic keeps unleashing ‘a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering’ and appealed for ‘an all-out effort to end hate speech globally’…” (Lederer, 5/8).

Al Jazeera: ‘We’re facing a double pandemic’: U.N. body warns of ‘mega-famines’
“The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the world faces ‘mega-famines’ if enough funds are not pledged to combat the ripple effects of coronavirus pandemic on the world’s most fragile countries, which are already grappling with food insecurity…” (5/7).

Devex: U.N. triples COVID-19 appeal, calls for ‘extraordinary response’
“The United Nations is tripling its appeal to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries, asking for $6.7 billion in a crisis requiring an ‘extraordinary response,’ according to U.N. Emergency Coordinator Mark Lowcock…” (Lieberman, 5/7).

New York Times: This Is the Future of the Pandemic
“…A single round of social distancing — closing schools and workplaces, limiting the sizes of gatherings, lockdowns of varying intensities and durations — will not be sufficient in the long term. In the interest of managing our expectations and governing ourselves accordingly, it might be helpful, for our pandemic state of mind, to envision this predicament — existentially, at least — as a soliton wave: a wave that just keeps rolling and rolling, carrying on under its own power for a great distance…” (Roberts, 5/8).

U.N. News: Migrants stranded ‘all over the world’ and at risk from coronavirus
“Thousands of migrants have been stranded ‘all over the world’ where they face a heightened risk of COVID-19 infection, the head of U.N. migration agency, IOM, said on Thursday…” (5/7).

VOA: U.N. Appeals for Nearly $7 Billion in Coronavirus Aid for Poorest Nations
“…The U.N. has repeatedly warned that if COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, wreaks havoc in the poorest places, the entire planet will remain at risk…” (5/7).

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Devex Examines Potential For Innovative Financing Mechanisms In Addressing COVID-19 Pandemic

Devex: Can innovative financing tools raise funds for the COVID-19 response?
“As the development of tests, treatments, and a vaccine for COVID-19 has rapidly expanded, there have been growing efforts to explore innovative financing mechanisms to help fund them in ways that would guarantee access and ensure that products suited for the world’s lowest-income countries can move forward. There are a number of innovative financing tools that have been used in the past that financing and global health experts are considering adapting for the coronavirus response, including advance market commitments, the potential to raise private funds through vaccine bonds, or using government guarantees…” (Saldinger, 5/8).

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Tech Billionaires Form Group Pushing Governments To Focus More On Pandemic Preparedness; POLITICO Examines Future Threats To U.S.; Melinda Gates Discusses U.S. COVID-19 Response

POLITICO: Experts Knew a Pandemic Was Coming. Here’s What They’re Worried About Next
“You might feel blindsided by the coronavirus, but warnings about a looming pandemic have been there for decades. … It makes you wonder: What else are we missing? What other catastrophes are coming that we aren’t planning for, but that could disrupt our lives, homes, jobs or our broader society in the next few years or decades? … What follows is POLITICO Magazine’s ‘Domestic Threat Assessment’ — a list of the most significant events that might impact the United States over the next 30 to 50 years…” (Graff, 5/7).

POLITICO: Melinda Gates gives Trump administration ‘D-minus’ for coronavirus response
“Melinda Gates on Thursday gave the Trump administration low marks for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that more money is needed for testing and vaccine development in the United States and across the world. Gates — co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated billions of dollars to health research — gave the administration a ‘D-minus’ grade for its handling of the outbreak, citing a lack of a coordinated, national response. She said governors were stepping up with ’50 different homegrown state solutions,’ instead of a national response coming from the top…” (Ward, 5/7).

Vox: Tech billionaires are already mounting a pressure campaign to prevent the next pandemic
“…How can we make sure a devastating pandemic never happens again? That’s one of the main focuses for a group formed by major tech philanthropists including Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt, who are behind a new push to cajole overseas governments to more fully fund international institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO). The group, called the Pandemic Action Network, is behind the #MaskingForAFriend campaign that seeks to change personal behavior. But its more important ambition is to change government behavior. This initiative is one of the more forward-looking attempts from philanthropy to shape what the world looks like after the crisis, and one of the few focused on political advocacy…” (Schleifer, 5/7).

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U.S., China Relations Deteriorate Amid Coronavirus Pandemic; Australia, E.U. Express Frustration

Reuters: Australia annoyed as U.S. pushes Wuhan lab COVID-19 theory
“Australian officials are frustrated that their push for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus is being undermined by the White House, which has sought to link the outbreak to a Chinese lab, government, diplomatic and intelligence sources told Reuters…” (Needham/Packham, 5/8).

Reuters: Wuhan market had role in virus outbreak, but more research needed: WHO
“A wholesale market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan played a role in the outbreak of the novel coronavirus last year, as the source or possibly as an ‘amplifying setting,’ the World Health Organization said on Friday, calling for more research…” (Nebehay, 5/8).

Reuters: E.U. ambassador to China says rising Sino-U.S. tensions not helpful
“Rising Sino-U.S. tension is problematic and undermines the broad multinational cooperation needed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the European Union’s ambassador to China said on Thursday…” (Woo et al., 5/7).

Washington Post: China, U.S. stand by trade deal as coronavirus crisis pushes relations to lowest level in decades
“U.S. and Chinese economic officials struck a conciliatory tone during a call on Friday as they discussed the prospects of China fulfilling a ‘Phase 1’ trade deal that President Trump has threatened to scrap in the coming days as bilateral relations fray. … The call was the first dialogue between top-level trade officials since the partial agreement was signed in the White House’s East Room on Jan. 15. The coronavirus, which at that time was already sweeping across the city of Wuhan, burst into full view the following week as Chinese officials finally acknowledged its infectious potential and scrambled to seal off central Hubei province…” (Shih, 5/8).

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Trump, Putin Discuss Coronavirus Response, Arms Control During Phone Call; Trump Offers Medical Equipment Assistance

Wall Street Journal: Trump, Putin Discussed Coronavirus, Arms Control During Call
“President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the coronavirus pandemic and other bilateral issues in a phone call Thursday, as tensions between the two countries remain high. ‘President Trump reiterated that the United States is working hard to care for Americans at home and is also ready to provide assistance to any country in need, including Russia,’ the White House said in a statement. The Kremlin said in a separate statement that the two leaders discussed coordinating their efforts to counter the virus and that Mr. Trump offered to send ‘a batch of medical equipment to Russia,’ but neither side provided further details…” (Restuccia, 5/7).

Additional coverage of the call between Trump and Putin is available from The Hill and Reuters.

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New Zealand Eliminates COVID-19; Violence Grips Colombia Amid Lockdowns; ISIS Exploits Iraq's Lockdowns To Step Up Attacks; U.S. Field Hospitals Stand Down

AFRICA

Devex: The double burden of coronavirus and Ebola in eastern DRC (Jerving/Tsongo, 5/8).

Global Health NOW: Africa’s Decision-Makers Get a Data Boost (Myers, 5/7).

Reuters: Africa disease centre rejects Tanzania’s allegation that its coronavirus tests faulty (Paravicini et al., 5/7).

ASIA

The Lancet: New Zealand eliminates COVID-19 (Cousins, 5/9).

NPR: China Says It Contained COVID-19. Now It Fights To Control The Story (Feng, 5/7).

PRI: Is Vietnam the coronavirus-fighting champ of the world? (Winn, 5/7).

Reuters: Indonesia team says it has created $1,000 ventilator for COVID-19 fight (Budiman et al., 5/7).

Xinhua: 20.1 mln newborns by December in India may pose health challenge amid COVID-19: UNICEF (5/8).

EUROPE

Reuters: Black and some other ethnic groups more at risk from COVID-19, Britain says (Faulconbridge, 5/7).

Washington Post: Putin knows how to rule Russia as an autocrat. But he seems on the sidelines amid coronavirus crisis (Dixon, 5/7).

LATIN AMERICA

AP: Minors deported from Mexico to Guatemala positive for virus (Pérez D., 5/8).

The Guardian: ‘Separation by sex’: gendered lockdown fueling hate crime on streets of Bogotá (Griffin/Antara, 5/8).

The Guardian: ‘We are living in a catastrophe’: Peru’s jungle capital choking for breath as Covid-19 hits (Collyns, 5/7).

The Lancet: Chile plans controversial COVID-19 certificates (Fraser, 5/9).

Reuters: Chile’s Pinera says lobbied Trump to seek ‘pole position’ for vaccine access (Cambero/Laing, 5/7).

Reuters: Coronavirus outbreak in Colombia prison sparks fear among officials, families (Hernandez et al., 5/7).

MIDDLE EAST

DW: Pakistan’s fight against COVID-19 threatens polio, measles vaccine programs (Janjua, 5/8).

New Humanitarian: U.N. cuts extra pay for health workers in Yemen just as COVID-19 hits (Slemrod/Parker, 5/7).

Reuters: Pakistan to start easing lockdown amid sharp coronavirus spread (Shahzad/Greenfield, 5/7).

Washington Post: ISIS exploits Iraq’s coronavirus lockdown to step up attacks (Loveluck/Salim, 5/8).

NORTH AMERICA

AP: Fears grow as coronavirus bears down on Mexico City (Verza, 5/8).

Homeland Preparedness News: Rep. Higgins to introduce bill establishing new pandemic agency within HHS (Kovaleski, 5/7).

NPR: U.S. Field Hospitals Stand Down, Most Without Treating Any COVID-19 Patients (Rose, 5/7).

Quartz: Underfunded public health schools say a lot about the US response to Covid-19 (Merelli, 5/7).

Undark: Is the Military Prepared to Handle Covid-19 Within Its Ranks? (Callier, 5/7).

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The Hill Examines COVID-19 Pandemic's Impacts In BRIC Nations

The Hill: Russia, Brazil struggle with coronavirus response
“…Brazil, Russia, India, and China — the so-called BRIC nations — have boomed in recent years, fueled by strong commodity prices and nascent technological and manufacturing sectors that have given them a global edge. Since the turn of the century, millions of people in those nations have been lifted out of poverty. But now, the virus has claimed the upper hand over ruling governments that have either covered up its spread, downplayed its significance, or dismissed it altogether. There are widespread fears that the death tolls in all four countries will be, or already are, substantially higher than the official government tallies…” (Wilson, 5/8).

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Hydroxychloroquine Failed To Show Benefit In COVID-19 Patients, Observational Study Says

Reuters: Malaria drug touted by Trump for coronavirus fails another test
“The malaria treatment repeatedly championed by U.S. President Donald Trump as a ‘game changer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus has again failed to show a benefit in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a study released on Thursday. While the study being published in the New England Journal of Medicine had certain limitations, doctors reported that the use of hydroxycholoquine neither lessened the need for patients requiring breathing assistance nor the risk of death…” (Emery, 5/8).

Additional coverage of the study is available from AP, TIME, and Wall Street Journal.

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Coronavirus Detected In Semen Of Actively Sick, Recovering Patients In Small Chinese Study

AP: Coronavirus found in patients’ semen in small Chinese study
“The virus that causes COVID-19 can be found in semen, Chinese researchers report in a small study that doesn’t address whether sexual transmission is possible. Doctors detected the virus in semen from six of 38 men hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Four were still very sick with the disease while two were recovering. The report from Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in China was published Thursday in JAMA Network Open. There was no long-term follow-up so it is not known how long the virus may remain in semen or if men can spread it to their partners during sex…” (Tanner, 5/7).

Additional coverage of the study is available from CBS News, CNN, The Hill, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

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DW Examines Global Efforts To Wipe Out Smallpox On 40th Anniversary Of Eradication

DW: Lessons learned: The eradication of smallpox 40 years ago
“It was one of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) greatest triumphs: On May 8, 1980, the WHO declared the smallpox virus, ‘Variola,’ to be completely eradicated. In living memory, or as far as we know, the virus had killed many millions of people around the world and over many centuries. Alone in the 20th century, about 300 million people died because of smallpox. But with an unprecedented, worldwide vaccination program, the WHO was able to put an end to the virus that had held humanity hostage for so long…” (Fruend, 5/7).

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: Hackers Target WHO by Posing as Think Tank, Broadcaster (Gallagher, 5/7).

The BMJ: Covid-19: Health needs of sex workers are being sidelined, warn agencies (Howard, 5/7).

CNN: These are the ’10 plain truths’ about the coronavirus pandemic, according to former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden (Kim/Watts, 5/6).

Devex: Q&A: COVID-19 brings health surveillance efforts into sharp focus (5/8).

Devex: Interactive: Explore 25 years of uneven gains for girls (Cornish, 5/7).

Devex: Designing mental health programs: Faith, culture key elements (Smith, 5/7).

The Guardian: Pollution causing birth defects in children of DRC cobalt miners — study (Kelly, 5/6).

Homeland Preparedness News: New CEPI funding opportunity aims to speed up COVID-19 vaccine production (Galford, 5/7).

New York Times: After Recovery From the Coronavirus, Most People Carry Antibodies (Mandavilli, 5/7).

ProPublica: How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease (Lustgarten, 5/7).

Quartz: Regulators would consider releasing an unapproved coronavirus vaccine (Goldhill, 5/8).

The Telegraph: Covid-19 could reverse a decade of developing world progress, U.K. government scientist warns (Newey, 5/7).

U.S. News & World Report: How Lessons From Ebola Can Help Fight COVID-19 (Galvin, 5/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic, Including Role Of Different Sectors In Response Efforts

Devex: Opinion: To deliver a COVID-19 vaccine equitably, we must start planning now
Deborah Atherly, global head of policy, access, and introduction for PATH’s center for vaccine innovation and access (5/7).

Devex: Opinion: The coronavirus response needs local communities and faith leaders
Ruth Faber, CEO of EU-CORD, and colleagues (5/7).

Devex: Opinion: How social enterprises are playing a role in COVID-19 response
Mara Hansen Staples, partner and co-founder of Impact for Health, and colleagues (5/6).

The Conversation: Coronavirus found in semen of young men with COVID-19
Peter Ellis, lecturer in molecular biology and reproduction; Mark Wass, reader in computational biology; and Martin Michaelis, professor of molecular medicine, all at the University of Kent (5/7).

Financial Times: Letter: Small island states deserve the G20’s attention
David Doyle, ambassador of St. Kitts & Nevis to UNESCO, and Everson Hull, ambassador of St. Kitts & Nevis to the Organization of American States (5/7).

Foreign Policy: In the Coronavirus Era, Trump’s ‘America First’ Means ‘Latin America Alone’
Jose W. Fernandez, assistant secretary of state for economic, energy, and business affairs during the Obama administration (5/7).

The Lancet: COVID-19 in Brazil: ‘So what?’
Editorial Board (5/9).

The Lancet: Access to lifesaving medical resources for African countries: COVID-19 testing and response, ethics, and politics
Matthew M. Kavanagh, assistant professor of global health and director of global health policy and politics at Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute, and colleagues (5/7).

Newsweek: The United Nations is Using Coronavirus Funding to Promote Abortion
Elyssa Koren, director of United Nations advocacy at ADF International (5/8).

New York Times: Spoiled Milk, Rotten Vegetables and a Very Broken Food System
Jennifer Clapp, professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo (5/8).

New York Times: Is the Cure for Covid in the Rocky Mountains?
Charlie Warzel, New York Times opinion writer at large (5/7).

Project Syndicate: The Pandemic’s Gender Imperative
Ann Linde, Sweden’s minister of foreign affairs, and Arancha González, Spain’s minister of foreign affairs (5/8).

Project Syndicate: The Global Resilience Imperative
Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and professor of earth system science at the University of Potsdam, and Ottmar Edenhofer, director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and professor of the economics of climate change at Technische Universität Berlin (5/7).

Wall Street Journal: Who Should Lead the Virus Fight?
James Freeman, assistant editor of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page (5/7).

Washington Post: Kenya is turning a public health crisis into a law-and-order one
Patrick Gathara, Global Opinions columnist at the Washington Post (5/7).

Washington Post: The pandemic shows why Taiwan is a far better partner than the People’s Republic
Josh Rogin, columnist at the Washington Post (5/7).

Washington Post: The U.S. and Britain’s coronavirus calamities
Ishaan Tharoor, foreign affairs writer at the Washington Post (5/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Articles, Statements Address Various Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic

Brookings: Figures of the week: The costs of financing Africa’s response to COVID-19
Chris Heitzig, research analyst with the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings (5/7).

Georgetown University Medical Center: Dearth of Medical Resources in Africa for COVID-19 Reminiscent of Early HIV/AIDS Pandemic (5/7).

Médecins Sans Frontières: Responding to COVID-19 in a country already fighting a dual HIV/TB epidemic (5/8).

Think Global Health: Rethinking the Future of Global Health
Vaibhav Gupta, global health and international development expert (5/5).

Think Global Health: Coronavirus and Ebola: Hard Lessons, Prudently Applied
Jill Miller, director of the Center for Applied Learning and Impact at IREX (5/4).

Think Global Health: COVID-19: It Ain’t Over Until There’s PPE All Over
Madeleine Ballard, executive director of the Community Health Impact Coalition and an assistant professor of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Carey Westgate, deputy director at the Community Health Impact Coalition, and colleagues with the Community Health Impact Coalition (5/4).

Think Global Health: The Trillion-Dollar Question With COVID-19
Luke Shors, writer and entrepreneur, and Michael Ferrari, global head of climate and agronomic decision sciences with Syngenta (5/6).

UNAIDS: Supporting sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand (5/7).

World Bank: Fact Sheet: Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (4/27).

WHO: How WHO is re-imagining and fixing the links in the supply chains during COVID-19 (5/7).

WHO: WHO Solidarity Trial: How a Spanish doctor joined the race for a COVID-19 treatment (5/7).

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Blogs, Articles Address FP/RH, Cancer, UHC, Other Global Health Topics

Science Speaks: Make adolescent and youth reproductive health programs responsive to needs with better data
Bridgit Adamou, technical adviser for family planning with MEASURE Evaluation (5/5).

Treatment Action Group: TAGline May 2020: Realizing the Right to Science (Multiple Authors, May 2020).

World Economic Forum: Here’s how cancer can be tackled through universal health coverage
Sally G. Cowal, senior vice president of Global Cancer Control with the American Cancer Society, and Christian Sellars, executive director of Global Policy with MSD (5/5).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Senate Democrats Introduce COVID-19 International Response And Recovery Act To Support U.S. Engagement In Addressing Pandemic

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations: Senate Dems Unveil Comprehensive COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act
According to a release, “As the Senate reconvenes despite the continued spread of coronavirus, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing sweeping comprehensive legislation to provide an additional $9 billion in funding to help support international efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act (CIRRA) is aimed at compelling the Trump administration to constructively engage with other countries, international organizations, and multilateral fora to stop the spread of COVID-19, which will continue to exacerbate the United States’ public health and economic crisis without a coordinated global response…” (5/8).

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USAID Fact Sheet Discusses Agency's Investments In Global Health Security

USAID: Investments in Global Health Security by the U.S. Agency for International Development
This fact sheet discusses USAID’s investments in global health security, including investments under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) (5/7).

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CDC MMWR Articles Discuss Improving Respiratory Disease Surveillance In Kenya, Measles Outbreak In Orthodox Jewish Communities In Israel

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Improving Detection and Response to Respiratory Events — Kenya, April 2016-April 2020
Osatohamwen I. Idubor, epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division of Bacterial Diseases, and colleagues (5/8).

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Notes from the Field: Large Measles Outbreak in Orthodox Jewish Communities — Jerusalem District, Israel, 2018-2019
Chen Stein-Zamir, Jerusalem District health officer at the Ministry of Health in Israel, and colleagues (5/8).

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From KFF

KFF Resources Examine Global, Domestic Issues Related To COVID-19

KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of May 8, 2020 (5/8).

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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