KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- U.S. State Department Orders Diplomats To Limit Contact With WHO Officials
Foreign Policy: Trump Administration Orders U.S. Diplomats to Curtail Contact With WHO
“Despite the White House decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization in the midst of a deadly pandemic, American officials have sought to maintain some U.S. influence at the global health agency, promoting a far-reaching reform initiative and granting U.S. diplomats the authority to continue working on WHO programs that fight polio, HIV, and other infectious diseases. But that effort has been undercut by a new set of orders from the State Department to sharply curtail diplomatic contact with WHO officials — even though the United States will remain a member of the global health agency until next summer — as well as a U.S. decision to cut funding for the WHO…” (Lynch et al., 9/9).
- Climate Change Continues To Worsen, New Report Shows; U.N. SG Calls For 'Science, Solidarity, Decisive Solutions' To Slow Impacts
Devex: Despite pandemic slowdown, climate change continues to worsen
“Despite a temporary drop in global greenhouse gas emissions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘the heating of our planet has not let up,’ U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday. Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record-high levels, and are on track to continue rising, according to the new report ‘United in Science 2020,’ released by the World Meteorological Organization on Wednesday…” (Lieberman, 9/10).
U.N. News: Science, solidarity and solutions needed against climate change: Guterres
“…Speaking at the launch of the report, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized that there is ‘no time to delay’ if the world is to slow the trend of the devastating impacts of climate change, and limit temperature rise to 1.5 degree-Celsius. ‘Whether we are tackling a pandemic or the climate crisis, it is clear that we need science, solidarity, and decisive solutions,’ said Mr. Guterres…” (9/9).
- COVID-19 Pandemic Aggravating Human Rights Violations, Could Fuel Conflict, Instability, U.N. Officials Warn
AP: U.N.: COVID-19 could fuel more conflict, poverty, starvation
“Top U.N. officials warned Wednesday that the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated discrimination and other human rights violations that can fuel conflict, and its indirect consequences are dwarfing the impact of the virus itself in the world’s most fragile countries. U.N. political chief Rosemary DiCarlo and U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock painted a grim picture to the U.N. Security Council of the global impact of the pandemic that has blanketed the world, with over 26 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 860,000 deaths…” (Lederer, 9/9).
U.N. News: Distrust of public institutions, health inequities could push more countries into conflict, U.N. political affairs chief warns
“…Rosemary DiCarlo, under-secretary general for political and peacebuilding affairs, said the breakdown in public trust, while a problem before the pandemic, now has the potential to drive instability in settings where people perceive authorities have not addressed COVID-19 effectively or have not been transparent about its impact…” (9/9).
- Pause In Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Not Unexpected, Shows Safety A Primary Concern, Experts Say
POLITICO: AstraZeneca pausing coronavirus vaccine trial is ‘normal,’ say scientists
“Pausing a late-stage human vaccine trial is normal. What’s not is that the world is watching. News broke overnight in Europe from STAT that trials of a front-runner coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford had to be paused after one participant reported a negative reaction. But some experts who jumped into the fray on Wednesday argued there’s no cause for grave concern…” (Deutsch, 9/9).
Washington Post: Major coronavirus vaccine trial is paused to investigate unexplained illness
“… ‘The announcement [Tuesday] about the AstraZeneca vaccine is a concrete example of how even a single case of an unexpected illness is sufficient to require a clinical hold for the trial in multiple countries,” said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, at a Senate hearing. The announcement comes as scientists and a growing number of Americans express concern about the politicization of the vaccine approval process during a presidential election campaign. President Trump has made approval of a coronavirus vaccine a cornerstone of his campaign and repeatedly said it could be greenlighted before the Nov. 3 election. But Collins and other scientists pointed to AstraZeneca’s decision as evidence that scientists, rather than politicians, are running the process. The experts said that it was hard to estimate how long the investigation would take, but that the pause was not unexpected in trials of this size and scale, where many thousands of people are closely followed…” (Johnson et al., 9/9).
Additional coverage of the AstraZeneca trial and other efforts to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available from AP, Financial Times, The Hill (2), Nature, POLITICO, and Washington Post.
- News Outlets Report On Trump's, U.S. Health Officials' Comments On COVID-19 Pandemic, Vaccine Research
The Hill: Top health officials pledge to keep politics out of COVID-19 vaccine process (Hellman, 9/9).
The Hill: Trump says ‘perhaps’ he misled public on coronavirus to ‘reduce panic’ (Samuels, 9/9).
The Hill: Fauci says Trump did not ‘distort’ impact of the pandemic (Weixel, 9/9).
POLITICO: Fauci denies hearing Trump distort facts on coronavirus (Choi, 9/9).
POLITICO: ‘This is deadly stuff’: Tapes show Trump acknowledging virus threat in February (Forgey/Choi, 9/9).
POLITICO: Emails show HHS official trying to muzzle Fauci (Owermohle, 9/9).
Roll Call: Surgeon general, NIH director try to promote public confidence in coronavirus vaccine (Kopp, 9/9).
- Virtual Summit Discusses Treatment Of Children, Highlights Impacts Of COVID-19 Pandemic
IPS: COVID-19 Pandemic an Opportunity to Re-evaluate How we Treat World’s Starving Children
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world, Nobel Laureates and world leaders [on Wednesday] expressed concern that the ongoing crisis is far from being an equalizer. The pandemic has revealed that the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, including and especially children, remain largely unprotected against the virus and its impacts. Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate, opened the plenary of the Fair Share of Children Summit, an extraordinary virtual gathering of Nobel Laureates and world leaders, with a sobering statistic. Currently, he said only 0.013 percent of the COVID-19 response had been allocated to the most vulnerable…” (Gathigah, 9/9).
- Lessons From HIV Response Can Inform COVID-19 Pandemic Efforts, UNAIDS Report Says
U.N. News: ‘Essential lessons’ from HIV fight can help coronavirus response, says UNAIDS
“Decades of global experience in tackling AIDS can help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new U.N. report published on Wednesday has revealed. The study by UNAIDS, the U.N. agency working to stamp out HIV and AIDS, outlines how the world can leverage and build resilient health systems that address both pandemics…” (9/9).
- India Records More Than 95K COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours; U.K. Considers Rapid Tests; Politics Plague Pandemic Response In Israel; Public Trust In Health Officials Waning In U.S., KFF Poll Shows
AP: Volunteers feed COVID-19 patients, doctors in Nepal hospital (Gurubacharya, 9/10).
AP: Asia Today: India has record spike of 95K new virus cases (9/10).
Financial Times: U.K. considering new rapid-result Covid tests for up to 10m people a day (Pickard et al., 9/10).
Devex: Returning Venezuelans subjected to ‘inhuman’ treatment, report says (Welsh, 9/10).
NPR: The Women Of Peru Are Suffering From A ‘Shadow Pandemic’ (Godoy, 9/10).
AP: Politics plague Israeli virus response ahead of holidays (Goldenberg, 9/10).
STAT: Public trust in CDC, Fauci, and other top health officials is evaporating, poll finds (Florko, 9/10).
TIME: COVID-19 Has Killed Nearly 200,000 Americans. How Many More Lives Will Be Lost Before the U.S. Gets It Right? (Fitzpatrick/Wolfson, 9/10).
- More News In Global Health
Al Jazeera: ‘We lost everything’: Thousands homeless as Sudan battles floods (Najjar/Alamin, 9/9).
Borgen Magazine: WaterAid’s Foreign Aid Expands During COVID-19 (Licht, 9/9).
Devex: Biases in health care affect workers everywhere (Halais, 9/10).
The Guardian: ‘Superbugs’ a far greater risk than Covid in Pacific, scientist warns (Chanel/Doherty, 9/9).
The Guardian: ‘Catastrophe’ warning as thousands left homeless by Lesbos refugee camp fire (Grant, 9/9).
U.N. News: Greece: Devastating fire compounds overcrowding and COVID-19 challenges in refugee camp (9/9).
The Guardian: MSF ran ‘white savior’ TV ad despite staff warnings over racism (McVeigh, 9/10).
The Hill: Pope: No one should seek to profit from pandemic (Coleman, 9/9).
New Humanitarian: U.N. seeks to unblock medical access for ‘trapped’ Palestinians (Hatuqa, 9/9).
U.N. News: Serious knowledge gaps must be bridged to battle deadly sepsis infections (9/9).
UPI: Study predicts increase in mosquito-borne diseases as planet warms (Hays, 9/9).
Editorials and Opinions
- Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Trump Administration's Response To Pandemic, Role Of Global Health Security In National Security, Education Efforts Amid COVID-19 Shutdowns In Latin America, How Africa's Recent Eradication Of Polio Informs COVID-19 Response
Bloomberg: Latin America’s Teachers Are Pandemic’s Unsung Heroes
Mac Margolis, Bloomberg Opinion columnist (9/9).
Financial Times: What the campaign to eradicate polio tells us about Covid-19
David Pilling, Africa editor at the Financial Times (9/9).
New York Times: Mr. Trump Knew It Was Deadly and Airborne
Editorial Board (9/9).
Wall Street Journal: Help Africa’s Contribution to Global Health
Bill Frist, former Republican Senate majority leader from Tennessee and board member of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (9/9).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- New Modeling Study Estimates Health Care Cost, Resources Needed To Respond To COVID-19 In 73 LMICs
Global Health News Wire: Modeling study estimates health-care cost of covid-19 in low- and middle-income countries at US$52 billion every four weeks
“New modeling research, published in The Lancet Global Health journal, estimates that it could cost low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) around US$52 billion (equivalent to US$8.60 per person) over four weeks to provide an effective health care response to COVID-19, assuming each country’s reproductive number (average number of contacts that a case infects) remained unchanged…” (9/9).
- More Than 3 Billion People Protected From Trans Fats In Food, But More Than 100 Countries Still Need To Take Action, WHO Report Says
WHO: More than 3 billion people protected from harmful trans fat in their food
“Two years into the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ambitious effort to eliminate industrially produced trans fats from the global food supply, the organization reports that 58 countries so far have introduced laws that will protect 3.2 billion people from the harmful substance by the end of 2021. But more than 100 countries still need to take actions to remove these harmful substances from their food supplies. … The report highlights two encouraging trends. First, when countries do act, they overwhelmingly adopt best-practice policies rather than less restrictive ones. … Second, regional regulations that set standards for multiple countries are becoming increasingly popular, emerging as a promising strategy for accelerating progress towards global elimination by 2023. … Despite the encouraging progress, important disparities persist in policy coverage by region and country income level…” (9/9).
- Ecuador's National Assembly Approves Bill To Guarantee Right To Health, Improve Access To Reproductive Health Care For Women, Girls, LGBT People, HRW Says
Human Rights Watch: Ecuador’s Assembly Approves Bill Furthering the Right to Health
Ximena Casas, a researcher in the Women’s Rights Division at HRW, discusses the Ecuador National Assembly’s approval of a bill that “would guarantee the right to health universally and comprehensively, including for women, adolescents, and girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. It also would guarantee access to sexual and reproductive health care, and provide comprehensive services based on scientific evidence.” Casas notes, “This is an important step toward eliminating barriers to reproductive health care and ensuring that health care services are provided on a nondiscriminatory basis, in compliance with international law and some specific recommendations made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health” (9/9).
From the U.S. Government
- State Department Fact Sheet Highlights U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, U.S. Involvement In COVID-19 Response
U.S. Department of State: United States-ASEAN Strategic Partnership
This fact sheet recognizes the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership and highlights U.S. efforts to help respond to COVID-19 in ASEAN member states (9/9).
- KFF Releases September Health Tracking Poll, Provides Resources On Global, Domestic Aspects Of COVID-19 Pandemic
KFF: KFF Health Tracking Poll — September 2020: Top Issues in 2020 Election, The Role of Misinformation, and Views on A Potential Coronavirus Vaccine
The September KFF Health Tracking Poll explores U.S. public opinion on top issues in the 2020 election and views on a potential COVID-19 vaccine (9/10).
KFF: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker — Updated as of September 10, 2020
Data on country government actions in response to COVID-19 are included in the tracker (9/10).
Additional KFF COVID-19 resources on the global situation, as well as those focused on the response and impact within the U.S., are available here. KFF’s blog series “Coronavirus Policy Watch” is available here.