Biden administration announces strategy to assist Americans suffering from long COVID

Long COVID sufferers experience new, lingering or worsening symptoms four or more weeks after infection.

On Tuesday President Joe Biden directed the US Department of Health and Human services to develop a national action plan to address the emerging health issue of long COVID. A term used to describe the effects of COVID-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness and a condition that renders many patients unable to work. He also directed federal agencies to support patients and doctors by providing science-based best practices for treating long COVID, maintaining access to insurance coverage, and protecting the rights of workers coping with the uncertainties of the malaise. Pain, fatigue, brain fog, breathing difficulties, and exhaustion after minimal physical activity are among the more than 200 symptoms linked to the illness, many of which endure for months.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while many people who get the SARS-CoV-2 virus recover in a matter of weeks, those with long COVID experience new, lingering or worsening symptoms of the virus four or more weeks after infection. "Long COVID is real, and there is still so much we don't know about it," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra at a Tuesday afternoon press briefing. The plan will expand research, care and disability services for people suffering from the condition, said the White House. Adding that, Biden’s order will also expand and build on a $1 billion research study already underway at the National Institutes of Health, called the RECOVER Initiative.