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Kaine Statement on New Long COVID Reports from the Department of Health and Human Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, who serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released two new reports regarding a national research plan on long COVID and available services and support for Americans experiencing long COVID:

“As someone with mild long COVID symptoms who has spoken extensively with Virginians grappling with this condition, I’m fully committed to ensuring that our communities have the resources and information they need to get the best possible care. My hope is that today’s reports can help us do that, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and the Biden Administration to build on them.”

The first report, the National Research Action Plan on Long COVID, details advances in current research and charts a course for future work to better understand prevention and treatment of long COVID. The second, the Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19, highlights resources for health care workers treating individuals with long COVID, and those experiencing the broader effects of COVID, including long COVID and COVID’s long-term effects on mental health and substance use, and loss of caregivers and loved ones.

The documents are a result of steps President Biden announced in April regarding the federal government’s response to long COVID, which included various proposals that were in the CARE for Long COVID Act, legislation Kaine introduced in March with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). In addition to the CARE for Long COVID Act, Kaine, Markey, and Duckworth also introduced the TREAT Long COVID Act, a first-of-its-kind bill to fund the expansion of long COVID clinics and empower health care providers to treat long COVID patients.

Approximately 27 million Americans have been impacted by long COVID, with potentially millions more at risk as COVID persists. Long COVID, or Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19, is the continuation or emergence of symptoms following an initial COVID-19 infection. These symptoms range from mild to debilitating and can last for months and even years. At the end of 2020, Congress appropriated $1.15 billion at the National Institutes of Health to study long COVID and develop and evaluate potential treatments.