March 2020 Newsletter of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center
MARCH 2020

Global Health Policy Center Monthly Update

J. Stephen Morrison

Dear colleague,

Welcome to the March 2020 newsletter from the Global Health Policy Center (GHPC) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)! We invite you to catch up on our latest content.


Spotlight: The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

We are watching the coronavirus outbreak, also known as COVID-19, closely. The outbreak’s startling trajectory, within and beyond China, has triggered mass quarantines, barriers to migration, and disruption of trade and travel. Scientific unknowns – the virus’ source, transmissibility, severity – continue to stoke fear and impact the world’s economic markets.

This outbreak is directly relevant to the findings and recommendations of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security. In late 2019, the Commission released its doctrine report, Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Global Health Security, urging the U.S. government to replace the cycle of crisis and complacency that has long plagued health security preparedness with a doctrine of continuous prevention, protection, and resilience. Read the report and its seven recommendations here.
Under the aegis of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, we are working on a number of products and events to track the spread of the disease, and to explore its ramifications. Please follow us on Twitter at @CSISHealth for all updates.

NEW PODCAST: Coronavirus Crisis Update
CSIS launched this month a new podcast: Coronavirus Crisis Update. A joint production across CSIS and hosted by H. Andrew Schwartz, CSIS Chief Communications Officer, the podcast will examine the scientific, political, and economic ramifications of this outbreak. Tune in to hear from CSIS experts and leaders from the agencies leading the global response.
The first episodes launched last week. In the first episode, Coronavirus Crisis Update: More Than We Realized Andrew, Jude Blanchette of the Freeman Chair in China Studies, and I discuss the scientific, political, and economic ramifications of the virus. Listen here.
The second and third episodes include interviews with Orin Levine, Director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme. Listen here.

CSIS is also working across other programs to explore the outbreak. On Truth of the Matter last week, I discussed how COVID-19 is affecting the global economy, health security, and international politics with Andrew, Jude, and Stephanie Segal, Senior Fellow of the Simon Chair in Political Economy. Listen here.

FEBRUARY 20: Coronavirus Update: Rapid Construction of Medical Facilities
In this commentary, I partnered with Jude and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Senior Fellow for Imagery Analysis (Non-resident), iDeas Lab and Korea Chair, to explain the pressing need for medical facilities, staff, and resources as COVID-19 spreads across China. As our satellite imagery shows, China is urgently constructing emergency medical facilities in quarantined Hubei Province. The need to significantly expand China’s capacity to isolate and treat those infected with the coronavirus will be crucial in containing this outbreak. Read more here.
JANUARY 28: The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
This new coronavirus has rattled China and threatens to become a global pandemic. In this commentary, I partnered again with Jude and Stephanie, as well as our CSIS expert colleague Scott Kennedy, Senior Adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics, to weigh in on the global health security, economic, and geopolitical implications of the cascading outbreak of COVID-19. Read our commentary here.

FEBRUARY 7: Stop coronavirus and the next epidemic by establishing a health security fund now
The Commission has called for strong and sustained financing for preparedness and response from the United States government. But what else can the global community be doing? Carolyn Reynolds, GHPC Senior Associate, tackles this question in an op-ed in The Hill, with colleagues Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, and Elizabeth Cameron, Vice President, Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Read here.

FEBRUARY 15: Munich Security Conference 2020: Townhall on the Coronavirus Outbreak
The annual Munich Security Conference is among the world's largest gatherings of international security leaders. At this year’s conference, held February 14-16, 2020, COVID-19 dominated the discussion, including the security challenges facing China and countries around the world. On February 15, I moderated a Townhall with a panel of principals leading the response to COVID-19 to understand what lies ahead in this dynamic globalized crisis. The panelists were Qin Gang, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China; Mike Ryan; Orin Levine; Paul Stoffels, Vice Chair of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson; Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck; and Tang Bei, Associate Professor of International Relations and Assistant Director of the Center of Global Governance Studies, Shanghai International Studies University. 
Watch the event here.
MARCH 20: The Science, Economics and Politics of the Coronavirus
On Friday, March 20, please join us for a special event co-hosted by the CSIS Trustee Chair in Chinese Business & Economics, China Power Project, the Freeman Chair in China Studies, and GHPC to discuss the science, economics and politics of COVID-19.
Registration for this event will open in early March on the GHPC homepage.

Upcoming Events:

MARCH 24: The Global Fund-U.S. Partnership: Leveraging U.S. Health Investments for Impact

 Coordination between the Global Fund and the U.S. bilateral HIV, TB, and malaria programs at the global level and in countries has been essential to the progress over the last twenty years against HIV, TB, and malaria. While these three diseases remain in the top ten leading causes of death worldwide, the toll they collectively take on Africa and the world has dramatically declined in large part due to the work of the Global Fund and the U.S. government’s bilateral investments in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), and tuberculosis programs led by USAID and CDC. The Global Fund has helped save 32 million lives since 2002, with the number of deaths caused by HIV, TB, and malaria each year having reduced by 40 percent in countries where the Global Fund invests. 
On Tuesday, March 24, 4:00pm-5:30pm, GHPC will host a public event to explore the evolution of the relationships between the Global Fund and the leading U.S. bilateral programs on HIV, TB, and malaria, how they work together in countries, and the remaining challenges the programs face in aligning their work. The event will include remarks by Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. Additional speakers will be announced shortly.  
Register or watch live here.

APRIL 15: From Paradox to Plan: Adjusting to HIV’s New Realism
The 2018 UNAIDS data, shared in its July 2019 annual report, was a “wake up call” that a new realism is needed to get back on track to end HIV as a public health threat by 2030. Join us to discuss what a pragmatic, prioritized, and implementable plan to achieve that goal should look like. On Wednesday, April 15, from 8:00am-3:30pm, GHPC will host a conference to explore perspectives from HIV policy and community leaders on the answers to these questions. We are pleased to be joined by Winnie Byanyima, to offer her outlook as the new Executive Director of UNAIDS, and by other esteemed HIV leaders. We also will premiere portions of our new HIV documentary, “The Pandemic Paradox: HIV on the Edge”.  
Register or watch live here.
APRIL 17-19: Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Annual Conference
CUGH’s annual conference gathers more than 1,800 people from academia, NGOs, government, and the private sector to discuss some of the pressing challenges our world faces. The main conference will be held at the Washington Hilton April 18-20 (register here), with a pre-conference satellite day on April 17 (register online & most are free to attend).

GHPC will be involved with three events. On Friday, April 17, I will be moderating a satellite session at the Hilton in the morning, followed by a public discussion event later that day at CSIS. On Saturday, April 18, GHPC will show portions of our new “The Pandemic Paradox: HIV on the Edge” documentary, followed by a panel discussion, at a breakout session at the Hilton from 4:30pm-6:00pm. More information to follow on our homepage.

Recent events:

FEBRUARY 24: Gavi at Twenty: A Critical Inflection Point

Over the past twenty years, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has proven to be a high-impact and resilient global health partnership. Gavi has mobilized its network of government, private sector, and civil society partners to make vaccines affordable and available to millions of children in the world’s lowest-income countries. Yet after years of improvements, immunization coverage has now stagnated in some countries.
On February 24, GHPC hosted an event to explore the critical role of U.S. support for Gavi as it seeks funding this year for an ambitious new 2021-2025 work plan. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, delivered a keynote presentation on Gavi’s achievements to date and its plans for replenishment in 2020 and beyond. Seth then joined Irene Koek, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Global Health Bureau at USAID; Robin Nandy, Principal Advisor & Chief of Immunizations for UNICEF; and Katherine Bliss, Senior Fellow at GHPC, for a panel discussion, which I moderated, about how Gavi can confront the most enduring obstacles to global immunization in this next phase. The Alliance will need to continue its innovative approach to reach zero-dose children in insecure environments, address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, build a stronger platform for countries transitioning out of Gavi support, and even engage ineligible countries to build a resilient global health system in the face of emerging threats such as COVID-19. The panelists also celebrated the recent U.S. commitment of $1.16 billion to Gavi over the next four years and discussed how additional bilateral commitments could reinforce its longstanding support of the Alliance by helping to ensure stronger WASH, maternal and child health, and even emergency preparedness. Watch the event online here.
During the event, Katherine launched two new companion works:
NEW BRIEF: Sustaining U.S. Support for Gavi: A Critical Global Health Security and Development Partner. Ahead of the June 2020 pledging conference, Gavi is seeking at least $7.4 billion to continue its work in delivering more than 3.2 billion doses of routine immunizations, funding emergency vaccine stockpiles, and supporting inactivated polio vaccine delivery. The U.S. government is one of the top donors to Gavi and has supported the alliance’s efforts since its inception 20 years ago. In this brief, Katherine examines the case for further U.S. investment during the next Gavi strategic period. Find the brief here.
NEW VIDEO: Sustaining Gavi, Securing Future Generations. This video explains how Gavi works, and how U.S. support in 2020 and beyond helps protect the health of future generations in the United States and around the world. Find the video here.

I moderated a panel on US investment in Gav, and goals during their new strategic period, with (L-R) Irene Koek, Robin Nandy, Seth Berkley, and my colleague Katherine Bliss. Photo courtesy of CSIS.

FEBRUARY 3: Success or Regress? The State of HIV in 2020
On February 3, Sara M. Allinder, GHPC Executive Director and Senior Fellow, hosted a discussion with Regan Hofmann, Director, a.i., U.S. Liaison Office, UNAIDS; Jennifer Kates, Senior Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Greg Millett, Vice President and Director of Public Policy, amfAR. The speakers discussed the current state of the HIV pandemic, including who remains vulnerable to HIV and why services are not reaching those most in need. They also discussed how we can create meaningful change for people living with HIV, including integrating HIV services into broader health care, changing national policies on HIV, and creating political will. Watch the event here.
The discussion served as part one of a two-part series, which will culminate in a full-day conference on April 15, 2020, featuring the new Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima. The session will explore what is needed to get back on the path toward ending HIV as a public health threat by 2030.
After the discussion, I was joined by filmmaker Justin Kenny to present a sneak peak of our upcoming documentary, “The Pandemic Paradox: HIV on the Edge”. The documentary, portions of which will be shown at our upcoming April conference, examines the historic achievements in the global response, the challenge of sustaining progress, and the risks of regression.  

Sara moderated a panel on the current state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with (L-R) Regan Hofmann, Jennifer Kates, and Greg Millett. Photo courtesy of CSIS.

JANUARY 27: Climate Change and the Australian Bushfires: A Singular Catastrophe or The New Normal?
Australia’s worst bushfires seen in decades burnt through more than 25 million acres, killed at least 27 people, and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes. Australia’s capital cities experienced record air pollution, and smoke was seen as far away as South America. On January 27, GHPC co-hosted with the CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program a discussion on the unprecedented fires in Australia, their impact on regional politics, public opinion, health and economic growth, and the climate change drivers behind these fires. Associate Professor Brian Oliver, Head of the Respiratory Molecular Pathogenesis group at the University of Technology, Sydney and the Woolcock Institute, joined via video from Australia to describe living through months of bushfire smoke, and what his research says about its potential health impacts.
Sarah Ladislaw, CSIS Energy Security and Climate Change Program Senior Vice President, Director and Senior Fellow, and I moderated a discussion with Jacob Greber, U.S. Correspondent, Australian Financial Review; Dr. Alan Tidwell, Director of the Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies (CANZPS) at the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service; and Kenneth W. Kizer, Chief Healthcare Transformation Officer and Senior Executive Vice President, at Atlas Research. We discussed the actions and the role of the national government and the political reaction during this bushfire season, as well as the energy needs of Australia and how economic policies and investment strategies could support more sustainable sources. We also highlighted the potential for countries facing similar challenges, including the United States and Indonesia, to work together to find solutions.
Watch our discussion here.

Sarah and I moderated a panel on the Australian bushfires, with (L-R) Kenneth Kizer, Alan Tidwell, and Jacob Greber. Photo courtesy of CSIS.

Recent publications:

DECEMBER 20: Ensuring Healthy Populations through a New Era of Global Immunization
Led by Nellie Bristol, GHPC Senior Associate, this Rapporteur’s Report captures the dynamic discussions held during GHPC’s September 27, 2019, day-long conference entitled Securing Healthy Populations in a New Era of Global Immunization. The session summarized in the report included presentations by Seth BerkleyKate O’Brien, Director of Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals at the WHO; Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF; and Muhammad Ali Pate, Global Director, Health, Nutrition, and Population, World Bank, and Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children, and Adolescents (GFF).
Read the report here.
Watch the event here.

New Take as Directed Podcast Episodes:

A three-part miniseries of Take as Directed delves into the detail of some of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security's Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Global Health Security report and recommendations.

JANUARY 12: Health Security Miniseries: CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett and New Technologies
In this first episode of the miniseries, I speak with Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI is a new model of partnership to finance and co-ordinate the development of technologies against high priority public health threats and emerging infectious diseases with pandemic or epidemic potential. Richard and I discuss the report's recommendation to systematically confront two urgent technology challenges: the need for new vaccines and therapeutics; and the public health communications crisis. Listen here.
FEBRUARY 05: Health Security Miniseries: Ambassador Jimmy Kolker and Carolyn Reynolds on Pandemic Preparedness Investments
In this second episode of the miniseries, I speak with Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, former assistant secretary for global affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a member of the Commission; and Carolyn. We discuss trends in global investment in health security, how countries have been preparing themselves for an outbreak, and the Commission’s recommendation that the World Bank establish a Pandemic Preparedness Challenge, that could incentivize countries to invest in their own preparedness. Listen here.
FEBRUARY 11: Health Security Miniseries: CDC Director Rebecca Martin on the Global Health Security Agenda
In this final episode of the miniseries, I speak with Dr. Rebecca Martin, Director of the Center for Global Health at CDC. We discuss CDC’s work on training field disease detectives and laboratory workers worldwide, how CDC works across the world to respond to outbreaks, and CDC’s role in communicating credible science and evidence to children and to parents on social media. Listen here.
DECEMBER 16: Gender-based Violence as a Weapon of War
This episode examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, Executive Director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria. This conversation is linked to the CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and the October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security. Listen here.
Coming Soon to the Take as Directed Podcast:
Michael Craig, Senior Advisor for Antibiotic Resistance at CDC.
Lora Shimp, Technical Director, John Snow International; and Angela Shen, retired Captain with the U.S. Public Health Service and visiting Professor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Drexel University.

Tune in to our latest Take as Directed episodes and subscribe via your favorite podcast service to get notices of our releases every other Tuesday, as well as special bonus episodes throughout the season. The podcast series is available on our website, Spotify, Stitcher, and on iTunes.

New AIDS 2020 Podcast Episodes:

People living with HIV. Public health experts. Activists, politicians, and pop culture icons. The largest conference on HIV/AIDS is returning to the Bay Area – to San Francisco and Oakland – in July 2020. AIDS 2020 is a podcast that follows the stories of key players connected to the conference as the epidemic approaches a critical inflection point. This series is hosted by H. Andrew Schwartz, CSIS Chief Communications Officer, Sara M. Allinder, GHPC Executive Director and Senior Fellow, and I. Find us wherever you get your podcasts.
FEBRUARY 27: Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland: Mobilizing for AIDS2020
In this episode, I speak with Mayor Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland since 2014. Oakland is a co-host of the AIDS 2020 conference this summer with San Francisco. We discuss how Oakland as a city has mobilized around and is investing in the conference, and what Mayor Schaaf wants to see emerge from AIDS2020. Listen here.

FEBRUARY 20: Ambassador Deborah Birx: “I don’t find anything impossible”
In this episode, Andrew and I speak with Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Ambassador Birx has been on the front lines of the HIV/AIDS response both in the U.S. and around the world since the earliest days of the epidemic, and has led PEPFAR for six years. We discuss the work PEPFAR is doing to prioritize the health and education of young women, the need for stronger evidence and accountability in HIV programming, and making the impossible possible with diplomacy and partnerships. Listen here.
DECEMBER 19: Deborah Waterhouse: Innovative Technologies to End HIV
In this episode, Sara talks with Deborah Waterhouse, CEO of ViiV Healthcare. They discuss how partnerships can spur innovation, what achievements we should celebrate so far in the fight against HIV, and what is needed to accelerate access globally to new HIV technology. They spoke ahead of CSIS’s October 22 conference on Improving Access to Innovative HIV Technology, which launched a paper, Evolution and Future of HIV Prevention Technology: An HIV Policy Primer. Listen here.
If there is something or someone you’d like to hear about on Take as Directed or AIDS 2020, please email your ideas to us at


Stay up to date on all of our work by visiting the Global Health Policy Center program page.

As always, I welcome your questions and comments.


J. Stephen Morrison
Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center
Center for Strategic and International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 1962 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decisionmakers.

Copyright © 2019 Center for Strategic & International Studies, All rights reserved.

202-887-0200 |

Center for Strategic & International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036