Biden administration launches long-term Covid research plan

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prior to a second COVID-19 booster in the South Courtroom of the Eisenhower Executive Directorate Building at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 30, 2022.

Kevin Lamark | Reuters

President Joe Biden on Tuesday directed the Department of Health and Human Services to lead federal efforts to research the diagnosis and treatment of protracted Covid.

The National Research Plan will expedite the enrollment of 40,000 people in the National Institutes of Health study on the long-term effects of Covid-19 infection, according to the White House. In September, the NIH launched a major study known as Recover.

The federal effort will also cover the Department of Veterans Affairs’ nationwide survey of persistent symptoms after contracting Covid and Department of Defense study on risk factors for the development of the disease in military personnel.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and the White House Covid Response Team will discuss the initiative during a press briefing at 3:00 pm ET.

Some people who contract Covid develop symptoms after a few months. These symptoms, which are debilitating for some, include difficulty breathing, fatigue, trouble concentrating, body aches, tingling sensations, and mood changes, among others.

Even people who had only mild illness after being infected, and people who initially had no symptoms, can develop long-term Covid. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other people also experience autoimmune diseases, which can affect multiple organ systems, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, skin, and brain function. Approximately 8,000 children developed symptoms known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-S. According to the CDC. At least 66 children have died from MIS-C.

In July, HHS and the Department of Justice said that people with long-term Covid claim protection against discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program should also cover treatment for long-term Covid.

Biden’s 2023 budget includes a $20 million investment to provide better care to long-term Covid patients, including the development of multidisciplinary clinics. The budget also includes $25 million to step up CDC research on the risk factors and health impacts of long-term Covid.

Congress has proven less willing than the Biden administration to fund the US response to Covid. Senators on Monday reached an agreement on $10 billion in additional Covid funding for treatments, vaccines and testing, less than half the amount the White House wanted.

CNBC Health & Science

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