Advocacy Updates ~ September 14, 2020
Trump Administration continues WHO withdrawal with reprogramming of funds
The Trump Administration announced it would reprogram the remaining Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 and 2020 assessed contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO). The decision to reprogram $80 million in assessed contributions will impede the WHO’s ability to respond to COVID-19 and other long-term WHO and U.S. priorities.
GHC Meets with OMB to Discuss FY22 Budget Recommendations
Global Health Council and global health roundtable co-chairs will participate in a meeting with the Office of Management and Budget to discuss FY22 global health priorities. Information about the meeting will be shared broadly after the fact. If you have any specific questions about GHC’s FY22 priorities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senators Booker and Durbin introduced legislation to fulfill U.S. commitment to WHO
Senators Booker and Durbin introduced the Abiding by U.S. Commitments Act, to ensure that the United States will continue payments of its dues to WHO and other international organizations of which it is a member. Senators Leahy, Van Hollen, Cantwell, Gillibrand, Hirono, Merkley, Reed, and Feinstein have all co-sponsored the legislation. Global Health Council will continue to track the bill and share updates with our network as new information becomes available.
Senate Republican ‘skinny’ COVID-19 relief bill fails in procedural vote
A Republican proposal to provide about $300 billion in new coronavirus relief failed a procedural vote in the Senate, all but definitively stopping the bill from passage. The bill did not include global health funding assistance. Global Health Council and our network will continue to advocate for at least $20 billion in global health and humanitarian assistance in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Negotiations continue for FY21 Continuing Resolution
FY20 ends on September 30 and with no Senate action to date on FY21 appropriations legislation. Negotiations so far suggest that a clean stopgap continuing resolution (CR) to continue FY20 spending levels until FY21 can be negotiated.
Senator Tillis introduces America First Vaccine Act
Senator Tillis recently introduced the America First Vaccine Act, which would prohibit distribution abroad of COVID-19 vaccines developed with U.S. funding until domestic vaccine needs are met. The bill does not define domestic need or how the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration would set that standard. The bill is very unlikely to gain enough traction to pass the Senate or the House. If you have any questions about this or other legislation, please contact email@example.com.
UN General Assembly approves COVID-19 resolution
In a strong show of unity by UN Member States, on Friday the General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a wide-ranging resolution on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution calls for a cooperative international response to “one of the greatest global challenges in the history of the United Nations”; global access to vaccines, therapeutics, medicine, and equipment for the COVID-19 response; and recognizes the role of immunization to bring the pandemic to an end. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 169-2, overcoming opposition from the United States and Israel which opposed a last-minute Cuban amendment that “strongly urged countries to oppose any unilateral economic, financial or trade sanctions.” The 75th UN General Assembly officially kicks off tomorrow, September 15.
Global Preparedness Monitoring Board 2020 Report
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) just launched its second annual report, A World in Disorder. In it, the GPMB warns that the world cannot afford to be unprepared again, when the next pandemic hits. A toolkit associated with the report can be found here.