This article was updated on July 27, 2020 to reflect Dr. Anthony Fauci’s repeated statements on this topic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is repeatedly warning the public that Covid-19 patients are at risk of developing myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) after being infected with the virus. As of July 27, he has stated this publicly on three separate occasions.
“Even after you clear the virus, there are postviral symptoms. I know, because I follow on the phone a lot of people who call me up and talk about their course. And it’s extraordinary how many people have a postviral syndrome that’s very strikingly similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome,” said Dr. Fauci in a July 27 interview with Medscape. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Dr. Fauci repeated this warning again in an interview with Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg: “Even when they clear the virus and test negative – and they don’t have any virus – they can feel out-of-sorts for weeks and weeks almost similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. This is not a virus to take lightly, even with young people,” said Dr. Fauci.
During an International AIDS Society Covid-19 press conference held July 9th, Fauci answered a question posed by Terri L. Wilder, who is the #MEAction New York leader, journalist for TheBodyPro website, and long-time ME and HIV activist.
Terri Wilder used this opportunity to ask Dr. Fauci what the NIH is doing to address Covid-19 “long-haulers” risk of developing ME. (Read this article, and this one, on why some Covid-19 patients will go on to develop ME.)
Terri asked what NIH is doing to address Covid-19 “long-haulers” risk of developing ME and CFS and pointed out that there has been very little funding invested in research into ME and few medical providers know how to take care of people with ME. There are still no FDA approved drugs to treat ME.
Dr. Fauci said Terri Wilder’s question was very relevant.
Dr. Fauci went on to say, “If you look anecdotally there is no question that there are a considerable number of individuals who have a post-viral syndrome that really in many respects can incapacitate them for weeks and weeks following so-called recovery and clearing of the virus….you can see people who’ve recovered who really do not get back to normal that they have things that are highly suggestive of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Brain fog, fatigue, and difficulty in concentrating so this is something we really need to seriously look at because it very well might be a post-viral syndrome associated with covid-19.”
For Dr. Fauci’s full response, please refer to this YouTube recording of the press conference starting at 33:19.
Dr. Fauci responded because the issue was raised. As activists, we have to take every opportunity to continue to address ME and push for urgent action so that people with ME can get the resources, care, and treatment they deserve.
#MEAction is working to ensure that the NIH is considering ME when researching Covid-19, campaigning publicly and behind the scenes. We will continue to keep you up to date with our progress and we are very thankful to activists like Terri Wilder who show up time and time again to get ME in the spotlight.
Please read our latest article on why post-Covid research must include ME/CFS to learn more.