Advocacy Updates ~ October 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

Administration News

HHS released National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 2020-2025

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 2020-2025, based on the 2014 strategy and the first National Action Plan that was released in 2015. The latest plan was led by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and authored by those within the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Task Force. You can access the plan here.

HHS Secretary Azar statement on First FDA Approval of Ebola Therapeutic

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Inmazeb, the first approved treatment for Ebola virus infection in adult and pediatric patients following a US government supported trial and expanded access protocol in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read Secretary Azar’s statement here.

Secretary Pompeo signs Geneva Consensus Declaration

On October 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and HHS Secretary Alex Azar participated in a signing ceremony of the Geneva Consensus Declaration. The Declaration was drafted by the U.S. and is signed by a small coalition of member states that oppose components of internationally recognized human rights frameworks—particularly abortion and same-sex marriage as human rights. The Declaration has no legally-binding effects. 

FDA approves first treatment for COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 and older for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, said that the “approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously assessed and represents an important scientific milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic.” You can learn more about the FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program here.

USAID announces official support for CEPI

USAID announced a $20 million contribution to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), over a five-year period. The funding will be used to support vital vaccine development programs against its current priority diseases. The investment will also help advance vaccine platform technologies.


Congressional News

**The House is not expected to be in session until after the election. The Senate will be in session this week.**

Congressional Research Service report on WHO withdrawal 

On October 21, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released the report, U.S Withdrawal from the World Health Organization: Process and Implications. The report provides an overview of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its structure, U.S. membership and funding, U.S. withdrawal process and implications, and select issues for Congress. 


Multilateral News

World Bank approves $12 billion for COVID-19 technologies

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens. Originally announced two weeks ago, the plan is now in motion. Details remain sparse on how these resources will support the COVAX Facility and other parts of the ACT Accelerator.

WHO publishes Global Tuberculosis Report

WHO published its annual Global TB Report, providing a comprehensive assessment of the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic. The report reminds us all that TB remains the top infectious killer in the world.

European Union urges WHO transparency

The European Union shared a document, drafted by Germany, with the WHO, urging that the body adopt measures that would increase transparency with International Health Regulations. The document, it is reported, will be discussed among EU health ministers ahead of the World Health Assembly.

Global Burden of Disease 2019 Study released

The study provides a systematic, scientific assessment of published, publicly available, and contributed data on incidence, prevalence, and mortality for a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive list of diseases and industry. Find out more here.

Global Health Council WHA73 delegation

For those GHC members in good standing that are interested in joining our delegation for the upcoming resumed session of the 73rd World Health Assembly taking place virtually from November 9-14, please complete this form by COB (1700hrs ET) on Friday, October 30, 2020.