Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee, led the introduction of the Comprehensive Access to Resources and Education (CARE) for Long COVID Act, legislation to help people living with long-term COVID-19 symptoms. This bill would improve research on long COVID as well as provide resources for people with long COVID. U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) are also helping introduce this legislation.
“As someone with mild long COVID symptoms, I am glad to introduce this legislation to help address the lingering effects of the coronavirus,” said Senator Kaine. “This legislation will help improve our understanding of and response to long COVID by expanding resources for those dealing with the long-term impacts of the virus. As a member of the Senate HELP Committee, I will continue working to ensure greater access to critical tools to keep our communities healthy and safe.”
“While our nation is fighting to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, millions of Americans will continue to feel its lingering impacts due to Long COVID,” said Senator Markey. “Long COVID can be serious and devastating, from neurological and respiratory symptoms to impacts on mental health. We need to take on the long-term impacts of COVID as aggressively as we’ve taken on this virus by passing the CARE for Long COVID Act to support research on how to better diagnose, treat, and prevent this disease.”
One review estimates that more than half of COVID survivors experience lingering symptoms, including neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, and mental health symptoms, months after their initial infection.
Specifically, the CARE for Long COVID Act would:
- Accelerate research by centralizing data regarding long COVID patient experiences;
- Increase understanding of treatment efficacy and disparities by expanding research to provide recommendations to improve the health care system’s responses to long COVID;
- Educate long COVID patients and medical providers by working with the CDC to develop and provide the public with information on common symptoms, treatment, and other related illnesses;
- Facilitate interagency coordination to educate employers and schools on the impact of long COVID and employment, disability, and education rights for people with long COVID; and
- Develop partnerships between community-based organizations, social service providers, and legal assistance providers to help people with long COVID access needed services.
The CARE for Long COVID Act is endorsed by American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Association for University Centers on Disabilities, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Long COVID Families, the National Center for Health Research, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), Solve M.E., and The Arc.
The bill text can be found here.