Support Senate Resolution 590 to Formally Recognize Long COVID Awareness Day!

Four years into the COVID-19 pandemic, Long COVID advocates from the COVID-19 Longhauler Advocacy Project, and Long COVID community at large, have organized to call for a congressional resolution to formally recognize Long COVID Awareness Day on March 15th.

Senator Bernie Sanders, Chairman of the Senate HELP committee that held a hearing on Long COVID in January, has answered that call by introducing Senate Resolution 590 to formally recognize Long COVID Awareness Day. Senators Markey, Hickenlooper, Smith, Casey, and Baldwin have cosponsored this resolution. I am now calling on you as my senator to support this resolution, to support me as your constituent, and to support public health.

Supporting this resolution provides an opportunity for more to be done to support and help the tens of millions impacted by Long COVID and it is a major step in destigmatizing and depoliticizing COVID-19, Long COVID, and the necessary protection measures to prevent death and disability such as masking. It provides an opportunity for the public to learn about Long COVID, protect themselves, and make informed decisions for themselves and their families.

Long COVID is an ongoing and compounding public health crisis. The health and socioeconomic impacts of Long COVID are devastating; 2022 estimates put four million out of the labor force due to Long COVID, with costs over the first five years estimated to come in around $3.7 trillion. Both of these estimates assumed only 10% of people who get COVID develop Long COVID, which is a conservative estimate of prevalence.

There are no approved treatments and there is no cure for this mass disabling condition impacting approximately one in five people (20%) who get COVID-19 which now equates to tens of millions of people in the United States alone. We do not have the tools. Long COVID requires an urgent investment of billions annually to support research, clinician and public education, care coordination, social services, infection mitigation, and more.

Recent and problematic updates to CDC guidance put the public at significant risk of death and disability from COVID-19 infections, including reinfections which increase the risk of developing Long COVID. The pandemic is not over. 2,000 people are still dying weekly with over 20,000 deaths since the beginning of the year. Long COVID cases continue to increase, all while claiming the lives of at least 5,000 people, estimated to be an undercount given the lack of awareness and reporting surrounding Long COVID.

Senator, as your constituent, I ask you to support our Long COVID Awareness Day Resolution, and take steps to provide urgent, sufficient, long-term funding for Long COVID. I would be happy to meet and discuss my requests further at your convenience.

Thank you.