Tell Congress: #FundPandemicPlans! + Sign On to the Open Letter
Thank you to Matthew Cortland for initiating the public call to action on this important issue. An earlier version of this alert mistakenly included their text without credit or permission - we deeply apologize for this error.
Open Letter to President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Schumer
Dear President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer :
We contact you as witnesses to the damage COVID-19 has inflicted on our communities. We are chronically ill and disabled people, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and frontline workers. Many of us are newly or more severely disabled and chronically ill as a result of Long COVID. Many are caregivers to family members with Long COVID. And many of us are bereaved and mourning our loved ones who lost their lives to COVID-19 or Long COVID.
We now find ourselves caught in the crosshairs of colliding global and domestic pandemics: HIV, Long COVID, COVID-19, ME/CFS, Ebola, cholera, monkeypox, TB, and more. We know that pandemics are a force of injustice, with harms often most acute for Black, brown and indigenous people, disabled and chronically-ill people, LGBTQ people, immigrants, frontline workers and incarcerated people. We are terrified of what could happen if action isn’t taken quickly, here and around the globe, to address our lackluster pandemic response.
To put it bluntly, pandemics are chronic. We won’t even know the full consequences of current pandemics for many years. In the meantime, there are 100 million and counting now living with Long COVID worldwide who are being all but ignored.
For the sake of all those who continue to be impacted by these pandemics, as well as all those who may yet be impacted if we don’t take preventative measures now, we make the following demands of Congress and President Biden:
Approve President Biden’s request for emergency funding to prepare for a COVID-19 winter surge; to keep tests, vaccines, and treatments available to the American people; to research Long COVID; and to develop next-generation vaccines to truly end this horrific ordeal.
Renew the COVID Public Health Emergency in the U.S. beyond January 2023–which has expanded much-needed healthcare coverage and access to free tests and vaccines. Lifting the emergency declaration could cause up to 15 million people to lose Medicaid coverage during a surging pandemic.
Ensure that COVID-19 and other vaccines are available globally, and Commit $100 million to fund the South African mRNA hub: break the stranglehold of pharma greed that perpetuates vaccine, testing, and treatment apartheid.
Announce the creation and funding of a Global and Domestic Response Plan for Long COVID and Associated Diseases with the funding, policies, programs research, and accountability to directly impacted, independent communities required for impact
Reverse the deadly harms of ten years of flat funding of the U.S.-bilateral global AIDS response, and address the disproportionate risk of people with HIV to surging pandemics, from monkeypox to Long COVID and more, with robust funding increases for FY23 and FY24.
We urge you to take swift action, as the situation will only become more dire. Our current catastrophe was preventable. But it won’t be prevented from happening again unless the U.S. pandemic response makes some drastic changes.