Washington (May 27, 2022) – Now Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Angus King (I -Maine) and Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.) led their Senate peers in sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, calling for additional appropriations to be raised to Patients demanded support of Long COVID in fiscal year 2023 budget legislation. The letter specifically requested $125 million for Long COVID efforts, including funding the development of a Long COVID patient registry. Support for those living with long-COVID who are seeking assistance in obtaining disability benefits, health insurance, and other forms of assistance; expanding long-running COVID clinics that bring together different types of clinicians to treat this multi-faceted disease; and study differences in long COVID diagnosis and treatment.
“For millions of Americans, the long-term effects of COVID-19 have weakened, disabled, or irreversibly damaged their mental and physical health months or even years after their initial infection.” wrote the senators. “Long COVID desperately needs federal attention, resources and funding.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
Approximately 23 million Americans have been affected by long-standing COVID, with millions more potentially at risk if COVID-19 persists. Long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 is the continuation or appearance of symptoms after an initial COVID-19 infection. These symptoms range from mild to debilitating and can last for months and even years. In late 2020, Congress approved $1.15 billion at the National Institutes of Health to study long-term COVID and develop and evaluate potential treatments. However, Congress has not taken additional steps to support patients and support healthcare providers in caring for long-illness COVID patients.
In addition to Senators Markey, Kaine, Duckworth, Smith, King and Whitehouse, co-signers of this letter include Senators Cory Booker (DN.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Minn.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
Earlier this year, Senators Markey, Kaine and Duckworth teamed up to introduce it CARE for Long COVID Act and the TREAT Long COVID Lawtwo bills that would bolster federal efforts to provide support long COVID research and patients.