Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
On behalf of President Biden, we announced today that the United States will host the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s (Global Fund) Seventh Replenishment Conference in 2022. This is an important moment, as next year marks the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Global Fund, of which the United States is a founding member and the largest donor. Since 2004, the United States has contributed $17 billion to the Global Fund, comprising 33 percent of all donor contributions. The U.S. Congress recently appropriated $3.5 billion for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund in the American Rescue Plan for COVID-19 related programming, in addition to its regular appropriations in support.
The Global Fund, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) continue to play pivotal roles in responding to the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics. They also remain critical contributors to the ongoing global COVID-19 response and to global health security.
Since the Global Fund’s inception, more than 80 countries have made or pledged contributions to support its efforts against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. It provides a vital complement to U.S. bilateral foreign assistance, increasing the total funding available to address key global health challenges.
By closely coordinating Global Fund resources with other U.S. global health investments — including those directed through PEPFAR, PMI, and our bilateral tuberculosis programs — we have not only made remarkable progress in preventing and treating three of the leading infectious disease killers on the planet, but also strengthened local health systems, global health security, and pandemic preparedness and response.
The United States looks forward to working with the Global Fund and other donors worldwide to deliver on the promise of a robust Seventh Replenishment Conference.
- Appointment of António Guterres as UN Secretary-General for a Second TermBy Sam NewsJune 18, 2021
- Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Call with Lithuanian Foreign Minister LandsbergisBy Sam NewsAugust 15, 2021Office of the [Read More…]
- Financial Audit: Federal Housing Finance Agency’s FY 2021 and FY 2020 Financial StatementsBy Sam NewsNovember 15, 2021What GAO Found GAO found (1) the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) financial statements as of and for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; (2) FHFA maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2021; and (3) no reportable noncompliance for fiscal year 2021 with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements GAO tested. In its written comments on a draft of this report, FHFA stated that it was pleased to accept GAO's audit opinions and that it will continue to work to enhance its internal control and ensure the reliability of its financial reporting, the soundness of its operations, and public confidence in its mission. Why GAO Did This Study The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 established FHFA as an independent agency empowered with supervisory and regulatory oversight of the housing-related government-sponsored enterprises: the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Office of Finance. This act requires FHFA to prepare financial statements annually and requires GAO to audit the agency's financial statements. In accordance with the act, GAO audited FHFA's financial statements. For more information, contact Beryl Davis at (202) 512-2623 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- Designation of Six Targets Involved in Iran’s Destabilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ActivitiesBy Sam NewsOctober 29, 2021
- Last defendant convicted in nationwide synthetic narcotics distributionBy Sam NewsIn Justice NewsSeptember 7, 2021Read full article at: [Read More…]
- ANZAC DayBy Sam NewsApril 22, 2021
- Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco Delivers Remarks on Operation Dark HunTorBy Sam NewsOctober 26, 2021Good morning and thank you for being here today. I am pleased to be joined this morning by the Deputy Executive Director of EUROPOL, Jean-Philippe Lecouff, as well as the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Kenneth Polite Jr., FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, and leaders of several law enforcement partners.[Read More…]
- Chicago Tech Executive Charged with Illegally Exporting Computer Equipment to PakistanBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2020A Chicago-area resident who owns a Pakistani technology company has been indicted for allegedly illegally exporting computer equipment from the United States to a nuclear research agency of the Pakistani government.[Read More…]
- Military Personnel: DOD’s Transition Assistance Program at Small or Remote InstallationsBy Sam NewsJuly 22, 2021What GAO Found The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides counseling, employment assistance, and information on federal veterans benefits, among other support, to transitioning servicemembers who are separating from the military. From fiscal years 2018 through 2020, seven of the nine selected small or remote installations exceeded, on average, DOD's TAP compliance target of 85 percent of separated servicemembers completing all TAP requirements. The information delivered during TAP and the components of the program are standard across all military installations, regardless of the size or location of the installation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, only certain servicemembers were eligible to participate in TAP virtually, including those servicemembers in remote or geographically isolated locations. According to officials of the Military-Civilian Transition Office (MCTO), servicemembers who attended TAP sessions virtually prior to the pandemic received the same transition information as those who attended TAP sessions in person. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all nine of the small or remote installations in GAO's review shifted to virtual delivery of TAP sessions for all servicemembers, according to officials at those installations. DOD monitors TAP across all installations, regardless of size or geographic location, through a standard form used by all four military services and by conducting course surveys. DOD officials told GAO that there are no additional monitoring activities or metrics specific to small or remote installations. Officials whom GAO interviewed—including those of the military services and at the nine selected small or remote installations—discussed common challenges with TAP delivery and participation, as well as ways they were mitigating these challenges where possible. For example, TAP officials at several remote installations stated there were limited local employment opportunities available to servicemembers post-separation. However, a few officials stated that they had built relationships with local employers to provide networking opportunities to servicemembers. Also, Army officials stated that they provide virtual career fairs that are available to all servicemembers regardless of location. The shift to fully virtual delivery of TAP support at the start of the pandemic also presented common challenges among the installations in GAO's review, including not having a live virtual option for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits briefing and having caps on the number of servicemembers in virtual classes. An official at one installation said the installation was able to provide servicemembers access to informal VA information sessions with their local VA office to supplement the self-paced virtual VA briefing. Why GAO Did This Study Approximately 200,000 servicemembers each year leave the military and transition to civilian life. To help servicemembers with potential challenges they may face during this transition, such as finding and maintaining employment, DOD is mandated by law to require that eligible separating servicemembers participate in TAP. House Report 116-442, accompanying a bill for the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, directed GAO to review servicemember participation in formal Transition Assistance Programs at small and remote military installations in the United States. This report describes: (1) the extent to which active-duty servicemembers at selected small or remote military installations within the United States are receiving required transition services; (2) the extent to which DOD is monitoring TAP at small or remote military installations; and (3) challenges that exist in implementing TAP at selected small or remote military installations. GAO reviewed relevant laws and guidance documents, and analyzed data provided by the Military-Civilian Transition Office (MCTO) and the military services. GAO also interviewed officials from MCTO, the military services, and TAP staff at nine small or remote installations in the United States selected to achieve at least two installations for each military service and for variation in geographic location. GAO identified remote military installations as those 50 or more miles from a city of 50,000 people or more, and small installations as those with 350 or fewer projected servicemember separations for fiscal year 2021.[Read More…]
- Medicare Severe Wound Care: Spending Declines May Reflect Site of Care Changes; Limited Information Is Available on QualityBy Sam NewsJanuary 4, 2021GAO's analysis of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) data show that in fiscal year 2018, 287,547 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries had inpatient stays that included care for severe wounds. These wounds include those where the base of the wound is covered by dead tissue or non-healing surgical wounds. About 73 percent of the inpatient stays occurred in acute care hospitals (ACH), and a smaller percentage of stays occurred in post-acute care facilities. Specifically, about 16 percent of stays were at skilled nursing facilities (SNF), and about 7 percent were at long-term care hospitals (LTCH). CMS data show that Medicare spending on stays for severe wound care was $2.01 billion in fiscal year 2018, representing a decline of about 2 percent from fiscal year 2016, when spending was about $2.06 billion. Spending declined as a result of decreases in both the total number of these stays, as well as spending per stay, which both decreased by about 1 percent. The decrease in per stay spending was likely driven, in part, by a change in where beneficiaries received care. CMS data show fewer severe wound care stays in LTCHs, which tend to be paid higher payment rates. At the same time, more severe wound care stays were at two other types of facilities that tend to be paid lower payment rates: ACHs and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. GAO's analysis of CMS data also show that, while the number of LTCHs that billed Medicare for severe wound care decreased by about 7 percent from fiscal years 2016 to 2018, Medicare beneficiaries continued to have access to other severe wound care providers. For example, CMS data show that most beneficiaries resided within 10 miles of an ACH or SNF that provided severe wound care in fiscal year 2018. Figure: Percentage of Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries Residing within 10 Miles of a Health Care Facility That Provided Any Severe Wound Care, by Facility Type, Fiscal Year 2018 Note: The “other” category includes facilities such as psychiatric hospitals or units. There is limited information on how or whether the decrease in LTCH care for severe wounds may have affected the quality of severe wound care Medicare beneficiaries receive. For example, CMS collects information on the percentage of patients with new or worsened pressure ulcers at post-acute care facilities, but it does not measure the quality of care they receive. Medicare beneficiaries with serious health conditions, such as strokes, are prone to developing severe wounds due to complications that often lead to immobility and prolonged pressure on the skin. These beneficiaries may require a long-term inpatient stay at an ACH or a post-acute care facility, such as an LTCH. LTCHs treat patients who require care for longer than 25 days, on average. In 2018, LTCHs represented about $4.2 billion in Medicare expenditures. Prior to fiscal year 2016, LTCHs received a higher payment rate for treating Medicare beneficiaries than ACHs. Beginning in fiscal year 2016, a dual payment system was phased in that paid LTCHs a rate similar to ACHs for some beneficiaries and a higher rate for beneficiaries that met certain criteria. As this payment system has moved from partial to full implementation, lawmakers had questions about how it may affect beneficiaries' severe wound care. The 21st Century Cures Act included a provision for GAO to review severe wound care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. This report describes facilities where Medicare beneficiaries received severe wound care, Medicare severe wound care spending, and what is known about the dual payment system's effect on access and quality. GAO analyzed Medicare severe wound care access and spending data for fiscal years 2016 and 2018 (the most recent data available); reviewed reports; and interviewed CMS officials, researchers, and national wound care stakeholders. HHS provided technical comments on a draft of this report, which were incorporated as appropriate. For more information, contact James Cosgrove at (202) 512-7114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- On the Passing of Ivoirian Prime Minister Hamed BakayokoBy Sam NewsMarch 12, 2021
- Office of Justice Programs Awards $261 Million to Support Youth Mentoring, Protect ChildrenBy Sam NewsOctober 9, 2020The Office of Justice [Read More…]
- Honeywell and Others to Fund Restoration of Natural Resources and Conserve Natural Habitat Along the Buffalo River in Buffalo, New YorkBy Sam NewsNovember 15, 2021Under a proposed settlement to resolve liability for natural resource damages, Honeywell International Inc. and others have agreed to a settlement with a value of approximately $6.25 million to restore natural resources and their services, and to preserve, in perpetuity, over more than 70 acres of natural undeveloped habitat along the Buffalo River in Buffalo, New York.[Read More…]
- U.S.-China Trade: USTR Should Fully Document Internal Procedures for Making Tariff Exclusion and Extension DecisionsBy Sam NewsJuly 29, 2021What GAO Found The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) developed a process in July 2018 to review tariff exclusion requests for some imported products from China and later developed a process to extend these exclusions. From 2018 to 2020, U.S. stakeholders submitted about 53,000 exclusion requests to USTR for specific products covered by the tariffs. USTR's process consisted of a public comment period to submit requests, an internal review, an interagency assessment, and the decision publication. USTR documented some procedures for reviewing exclusion requests. However, it did not fully document all of its internal procedures, including roles and responsibilities for each step in its review process. GAO reviewed selected exclusion case files and found inconsistencies in the agency's reviews. For example, USTR did not document how reviewers should consider multiple requests from the same company, and GAO's case file review found USTR performed these steps inconsistently. Another case file lacked documentation to explain USTR's final decision because the agency's procedures did not specify whether such documentation was required. Federal internal control standards state that agencies should document their procedures to ensure they conduct them consistently and effectively, and to retain knowledge. Without fully documented internal procedures, USTR lacks reasonable assurance it conducted its reviews consistently. Moreover, documenting them will help USTR to administer any future exclusions and extensions. USTR evaluated each exclusion request on a case-by-case basis using several factors, including product availability outside of China and the potential economic harm of the tariffs. According to USTR officials, no one factor was essential to grant or deny a request. For example, USTR might grant a request that demonstrated the tariffs would cause severe economic harm even when the requested product was available outside of China. USTR denied about 46,000 requests (87 percent), primarily for the failure to show that the tariffs would cause severe economic harm to the requesters or other U.S. interests (see figure). Further, USTR did not extend 75 percent of the tariff exclusions it had granted. USTR's Primary Reasons for Denying Exclusion Requests for Section 301 Tariffs on Products from China, 2018-2020 Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding. Why GAO Did This Study In July 2018, USTR placed tariffs on certain products from China in response to an investigation that found certain trade acts, policies, and practices of China were unreasonable or discriminatory, and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. As of December 2020, the U.S. imposed tariffs on roughly $460 billion worth of Chinese imports under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. Because these tariffs could harm U.S. workers and manufacturers that rely on these imports, USTR developed a process to exclude some products from these additional tariffs. U.S. businesses and members of Congress have raised questions about the transparency and fairness of USTR's administration of this process. GAO was asked to review USTR's tariff exclusion program. This report (1) examines the processes USTR used to review Section 301 tariff exclusion requests and extensions and (2) describes how USTR evaluated those tariff exclusion requests and extensions, and the outcomes of its decisions. GAO analyzed USTR's public and internal documents relating to the exclusion and extension processes, including 16 randomly selected nongeneralizable case files, and data from USTR and the U.S. Census Bureau. GAO also interviewed agency officials.[Read More…]
- Issues in Implementing International Peace OperationsBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2021Between fiscal years 1996 and 2001, the United States provided $3.45 billion in direct contributions and $24.2 billion in voluntary or indirect contributions to 33 U.N. peacekeeping operations in such areas as the Congo, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Bosnia, and, most recently, Afghanistan. The prospects for implementing peace agreements are enhanced if all major parties to the conflict participate in negotiating the agreements and if these agreements include specific authority and mechanisms for their enforcement. Peace operations are more likely to succeed if the military forces carrying out the operations have clear objectives, sufficient resources, and the authority to carry out their tasks. Military forces can help create a secure environment for civilian work to proceed. Moreover, the slow or late deployment of a peace operation's civil administrators might impede efforts to establish good governance. Finally, peace operations tend to be more successful when locals participate at every reasonable opportunity.[Read More…]
- Owner of Texas Chain of Hospice Companies Sentenced for $150 Million Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering SchemeBy Sam NewsDecember 16, 2020A corporate executive has been ordered to serve 20 years in prison after his conviction related to falsely telling thousands of patients with long-term incurable diseases, such as Alzheimers and dementia, they had less than six months to live and subsequently enrolling them in hospice programs.[Read More…]
- Statement by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division on Veterans DayBy Sam NewsNovember 11, 2020The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and its Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative would like to wish a happy Veterans Day to our soldiers, both past and present. We owe you our thanks, but more than that, we owe you our freedom. As the head of the Civil Rights Division, I am entrusted with enforcing laws that protect the rights of the brave men and women of our nation’s armed forces, and the veterans who have served in the past. Enforcement of these very important federal civil rights laws helps ensure that these men and women can continue to safeguard our freedom.[Read More…]
- American Contractor Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Steal Government Equipment from U.S. Military Base in AfghanistanBy Sam NewsOctober 13, 2020An American military contractor pleaded guilty today to her role in a theft ring on a military installation in Kandahar, Afghanistan.[Read More…]
- Texas Woman Charged with Fraudulently Obtaining Nearly $2 Million in COVID Relief FundsBy Sam NewsSeptember 15, 2020A Texas woman has been taken into custody on allegations she fraudulently obtained more than $1.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas.[Read More…]
- Owner of Food Service Firm Operating in Government Buildings Throughout the D.C. Area Sentenced to Prison for Payroll Tax FraudBy Sam NewsOctober 9, 2020A Potomac, Maryland, owner of companies providing food services in government buildings was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment for not paying more than $10 million in employment and sales tax, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia.[Read More…]