Dear Colleague,

Protests blanketed the United States and extended around the world when an unarmed and restrained African-American man was callously murdered by a police officer. This was a spark that has ignited Americans from all walks of life to unite and demand police reform, and the dismantling of the structural, race-based obstacles faced by African-Americans and other minorities. The protests are occurring in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic which is surging especially in low income countries.

In the face of this, President Trump decided to defund the WHO and remove the United States from the organization. A truly dangerous decision that endangers global security and compromises the lives of people worldwide, especially the poor. We responded quickly to these challenges. In this newsletter you will find: letters we sent to every congressperson concerning the WHO; and our news release calling for investments that will address the historical disparities in access to quality healthcare, education, housing and infrastructure faced by African Americans, other minorities and the poor.

We have also set up two task forces related to the pandemic and academia. The first will look at ways in which we can provide information and material that will assist universities in educating their students in this environment. The second is compiling information that we will present to Congress to address the economic crisis facing the academic sector.

As always, this newsletter includes a raft of material that we hope will assist you and your teams in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please share this newsletter with your networks. Stay safe.

Best wishes,
Keith Martin MD
Executive Director
CUGH
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Archives of past newsletters are available at : https://www.cugh.org/announcements/covid-19-newsletter

This newsletter is divided into the following sections:
  • Advocacy efforts
  • Recent pandemic updates
  • Resources for educators
  • Resources for researchers
  • Resources for health practitioners
  • Member requests
  • Other resources
ADVOCACY EFFORTS

Please provide your feedback and thoughts about the impact of the COVID-19 on global health and academia using this form.  

Please use this letter and call your Congressperson to reverse these decisions. Once you take action, complete  this short post-engagement form in order to help us track our members' efforts.

“These protests remind us we need to reassess how justness is about protecting the most vulnerable in our society as well as globally. America needs to rebuild its leadership in this space.” - Dr. Michele Barry, Chair of CUGH's Board of Directors

Police brutality, racism and COVID-19 have uniquely, and detrimentally, impacted the health of Black communities. In the latest installment of AMA's YouTube Prioritizing Equity series, health equity leaders discuss how physicians and others can address root causes of inequity by naming racism.

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens access to sexual and reproductive health, including contraceptive services, for women and girls who are disproportionately affected by the crisis in a  myriad of ways . Alongside broader health needs, disruptions to sexual and reproductive health services are driven by  supply-side challenges , such as supply chain interruptions, stockouts, and health worker shortages, as well as  demand-side obstacles , including travel restrictions, fear of visiting health facilities, and reduced income to cover out-of-pocket costs. We know from  previous crises   that reduced access to sexual and reproductive health results in increased rates of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal and infant mortality—alongside other long-lasting effects for women, girls, and their communities.  Available   projections   suggest   the impacts for women and girls unable to access modern contraceptives and other services could be staggering.

The Center for Global Development held an online discussion on the anticipated adverse impacts of COVID-19 on access to contraceptives and sexual and reproductive health more broadly—and possible mitigation strategies to protect hard-won gains for women and girls. Panelists examined existing structural and systemic barriers to service provision and access that may be amplified by COVID-19, particularly for  vulnerable and marginalized groups . The panel also addressed how low- and middle-income country policymakers, with the support of donors, the private sector, and other development partners, can reinforce the centrality of sexual and reproductive health as an essential healthcare service through the pandemic and beyond.

Thursday, June 11 at 10:00 AM (ET)

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis will be discussing how the Black community is taking action to uproot policies influenced by racism that have made it more vulnerable to public health and economic crises. They will be joined by scientists, activists and advocates who are engaged in the immediate response to COVID-19 and who are mobilizing for sustained change for the future.
RECENT PANDEMIC UPDATES

This daily (M-F) newsletter from the University of Washington provides a succinct summary of the latest scientific literature related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here  to subscribe.

This website from Johns Hopkins University is an outstanding resource to help advance the understanding of the virus, inform the public, and brief policymakers in order to guide a response, improve care, and save lives. It includes access to an interactive COVID-19 map.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Center provides tailored guidance to keep people safe. The site also contains a number of resources on the virus, including cases, data, and surveillance.
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS

In this article from Inside Higher Ed , the author discusses strategies for making academic programs responsive and resilient.

The educational superheroes of 2020 are those undergraduate and graduate faculty who’ve had to transition from the classroom to the online environment in record time. It’s not been easy, but what an awesome learning experience! In this interactive webinar, ASSPH will share what student-centered learning is and how to achieve it online.

ASSPH will identify best practices for assessments and learning activities for online courses, and share some of our favorite tools to help faculty. Participants are encouraged to come with questions and share their experiences in transitioning their residential courses to a remote environment.
RESOURCES FOR RESEARCHERS

Preprint servers and professional discourse on social media sites like Twitter have been incredibly helpful in spreading useful information as the COVID-19 pandemic changes over time. But they clearly function as a double-edged sword, spreading information rapidly prior to traditional peer review. JAMA Network Open Editors Eli Perencevich and Roy Perlis discuss this subject on this webinar.

The National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), with the other participating NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs), intends to promote a new initiative by publishing a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit research to evaluate community interventions testing 1) the impacts of mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission in NIH-designated health disparity populations and other vulnerable groups; and 2) already implemented, new, or adapted interventions to address the adverse psychosocial, sociocultural, behavioral, and socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic on the health of these groups.

This FOA will utilize the R01 activity code. Researchers will be encouraged to partner with community organizations, health service providers, public health agencies, policymakers, and other stakeholders to prepare and submit applications. This notice is provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive applications. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

The FOA is expected to be published in June 2020 with an expected application due date in July 2020.

Identifying and prioritizing key research questions is necessary for the rapid development of successful diagnostics, therapeutics, and public health interventions in the fight against COVID-19. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has compiled a comprehensive list of COVID-19 clinical trial and research recommendations for federal agencies and investigators below.

Thursday, June 11, 2020 , 10:30 AM (ET)

Many models predicting the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus have been generated since the beginning of the pandemic. These models have helped policymakers make the best-case decisions and to manage the outbreak. One of the most influential model often cited by the White House was developed by the Institute for Health metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the Murray model. It is with great pleasure that
AUB Global Health Institute announce the upcoming webinar on ‘IHME COVID-19 Projections for the Middle East and North Africa Region’ featuring Professor Murray who will be presenting data projection of for COVID-19 for countries of the MENA region.
RESOURCES FOR HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged all of medicine. However, in recent weeks, the nation's need for more infectious disease (ID) expertise has become a clear focal point. As the virus swept across the country, distress over constraints—tests, swabs, personal protective equipment, and ventilators—dominated the discussion. There is more to the story. Following a decade-long trend, in 2019 to 2020, ID programs nationwide saw just 0.8 applicant for every open position; 38% of ID programs failed to fill training slots, and 19% could not fill any slots at all ( 1 ). Simply put, cognitive specialties, such as ID, have attracted fewer physicians to the field than other, high-income–generating specialties.  

This podcast, organized by the World Federation of Pediatric Imaging, provides an international perspective to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
MEMBER REQUESTS
NYU'S COVID-19 WORK

Below, please find two articles on the COVID-19 pandemic with expertise from NYU faculty.



In an opinion piece published in  The Hill , distinguished professor of health policy and management at UCLA  Dr. Jonathan Fielding   shares his perspective about what will happen as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in the global south.

COVID Control – A Johns Hopkins University Study is a new surveillance tool for COVID-19 based on self-reported body temperatures and, optionally, other symptoms, from users around the country using a user-friendly app. By using spatial science analytics applied to these data we will identify anomalous increases in body temperatures and generate real-time, pre-clinical, risk estimates of potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

This predictive tool will allow healthcare systems and government agencies to pre-empt outbreaks and better deploy resources to mitigate consequences. Acquiring data directly from individuals rather than hospitals/laboratories greatly reduces the delay in identifying new outbreaks of the disease and expands basic monitoring of our health.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 12:00 PM (ET)

The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the social justice issues that exist for workers in the U.S. In the DMV region, services deemed essential have included hospitals and healthcare facilities, public works, food handling services, social services, communications and technology, energy and automotive businesses, financial services, educational institutions, and transportation services. In industries where working from home and physical distancing are not possible, an immediate serious problem was the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and unsafe working conditions. The workers who are at highest risk in these industries often do not earn a living wage and do not have any or adequate health care or leave benefits. In an examination of the demographics of essential workers by industry, the Economic Policy Institute found that women make up the majority of essential workers in health care (76%) and government and community-based services (73%), and people of color make up the majority of essential workers in food and agriculture (50%) and in industrial, commercial, residential facilities and services (53%). 

Experts from four distinct community-based service industries - child care providers, mental health services, assisted living facilities, and domestic and intimate partner abuse services - will provide their perspectives about essential work and how their workforce has and will continue to be affected as states open up without a vaccine.
OTHER RESOURCES

The CSIS Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics and the Freeman Chair in China Studies held a virtual public conference on East Asian regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This conference examined both the domestic responses and efforts at international cooperation. What explains the variation in level of success of countries in responding to the pandemic, and what lessons are there for the region and beyond? How have governments, industry and the non-profit sector cooperated, and what obstacles exist to further collaboration? The event began with opening remarks by Stanley Kao, Representative to TECRO in the United States, and followed by panels exploring the domestic and international dimensions of the crisis.

Coronavirus Q&A: Paul Offit, MD of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia discusses principles and progress-to-date in COVID-19 vaccine development.

This free course, aimed at teenagers and young adults, will explore the science behind the current global COVID-19 pandemic. You'll hear from scientists and experts at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as they explain the research that's going on to understand the virus and guide the global response to coronavirus.

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci discusses recent developments in the global COVID-19 pandemic with JAMA Editor Howard Bauchner.

Friday, June 12, 2020, 10:00 AM (ET)

United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, joins CGD President Masood Ahmed to discuss the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 in Africa and the international response. They will discuss lockdown exit strategies, debt standstills, and the how to ensure Africa's response to COVID-19 is gender responsive.

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 10:00 AM (ET)

Developing countries are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments impose strict lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus, families and small businesses are finding it difficult to earn enough. This has created a vast number of ‘new poor’ who will continue to be severely affected by the economic downturn even after the immediate public health emergency is brought under control.

In response, many low-income and lower-middle-income countries have announced direct cash transfers to citizens and financial support to small businesses to help mitigate some of the impact. How can these countries leverage digital technologies, especially the combination of digital ID, financial access, and mobile phones, to deliver these programs better, getting resources to individuals and small businesses quickly and efficiently? More importantly, how can developing countries use the scale-up of social transfers to expand the digital payments ecosystem for small businesses and deliver the support they need to transition to a new way of doing business?
Drawing on the global, regional, and national experiences, this event by the Center for Global Development will highlight the opportunities and challenges of using COVID-19 financial transfers to individuals and MSMEs to build better digital payments infrastructure in developing countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 10:00 AM (ET)

Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University and CGD Chairman of the Board, Lawrence Summers, joins CGD President Masood Ahmed to discuss the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will discuss the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how the multilateral system can scale up its contribution to that effort, and how COVID-19 will shape the future of development.

Friday, July 24, 2020 12:00 PM (ET)

Join Tufts Medical Center for an important webinar focused on understanding how well available information on the cost-effectiveness of health interventions aligns with diseases and conditions that contribute the greatest global burden. We will explore where the gaps are greatest, how this varies by location, disease, and type of intervention, and discuss policy options for improving the alignment. Our discussion is particularly relevant now that health systems around the world are struggling with how best to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what lessons can be learned for future outbreak prevention and control.

One of WHO primary function is to control and monitor internationally the spread of infectious diseases of the common killers. After SARS-COV, the International Health Regulations (IHR) was adopted in 2005 by all 194 member states to set up national preparedness for an efficient “early alert and response system." COVID-19 is a novel virus with an unpredictable course and many uncertainties about its biological, clinical and epidemiological characteristics. COVID-19 is a game changer and calls for a revision of IHR as well as a more biological, clinical and community-cantered preparedness strategy.
Consortium of Universities for Global Health
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