Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A blood sample is collected at a Russian medical center. Photo: Kirill Kukhmar/TASS via Getty Images

The World Health Organization this week issued a list of must-have diagnostic tools for nations to adopt. They expect the first round of the Essential Diagnostics List (EDL) will encourage manufacturers to boost production of the tests.

Why it matters: Diagnostic tools are the first, key step in ensuring a patient is receiving the correct treatment and in assisting countries in containing and responding to disease outbreaks, but many developing countries do not have access to them.

"Diagnostics are going to be key ... to be able to triage and respond and manage patients when an outbreak happens."
— Jamie Bay Nishi, director, Global Health Technologies Coalition

The context: Creating a global pandemic response system, which would include rapid diagnostic tests, is increasingly being recognized as a major health and security priority. "The world needs to prepare for pandemics, the way it prepares for war," Bill Gates said recently.

The details: The list of 113 products focuses on in vitro tests of human specimens like blood and urine.

  • 58 tests are for detection and diagnosis of common conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular, anaemia and liver function.
  • 55 tests are to detect, diagnose and monitor "priority diseases" like HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus (HPV) and syphilis.
  • The diagnostics range from very simple to sophisticated tests that may call for greater investment in developing nations' health care systems, Nishi tells Axios.

The big picture: By offering a "gold stamp of approval from WHO," Nishi tells Axios the EDL will help guide developing countries as they prioritize how to build up their testing and health system infrastructure. It also provides a good incentive to manufacturers to develop and produce more of these tests, she says.

What's next: WHO plans to continue expanding the list and says it will issue a call for applications to add categories to the next edition in the coming months. One target for the next round: tests for antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

"It'll be a game changer to handle the AMR crisis," Nishi says.

Go deeper: Read WHO's full report here.

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.