For Immediate Release
Americans Disabled By Long COVID and ME/CFS Protest Biden’s Claim that “Pandemic Is Over.”
Protesters disabled by Long COVID and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) are protesting at the White House sidewalk TODAY at 12 p.m. ET to say that the “pandemic is not over,” and to call on President Biden to declare Long COVID and ME/CFS a national emergency.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 Americans are experiencing Long COVID, which means as many as 12 million Americans are developing the complex, chronic disease of ME/CFS following COVID-19.
The protest will take place at the White House sidewalk, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW at 12 p.m. ET
Enraged by President Biden’s remarks on 60 Minutes
, protesters say “Biden’s lies are costing lives,” and demand COVID-19 mitigation to prevent further death and disability, plus urgent research, care and economic support for ME/CFS, Long COVID and other post-viral diseases.
- Watch the Protest LIVE on Twitter at 12 p.m. ET: https://twitter.com/MEActNet
- Listen to the Post Protest Roundtable Discussion at 7 p.m. ET where activists will discuss the protest & our demands: LIVE on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MEActNet
- Follow the protest at #MillionsMissing and #StillSickStillFighting
The protesters, who are joined by thousands online who are not able to travel due to severe Long COVID and myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), say that President Biden’s denial of the ongoing pandemic risks the lives of Americans who are developing severe and lifelong disability following COVID-19.
The protesters demand emergency measures to address COVID-19, Long COVID and ME/CFS, including comprehensive research, medical and public education, access to treatments and economic support for those affected.
They also demand the use of proven prevention methods for COVID-19, including high quality masks in indoor public settings, improved building ventilation, and sustained federal funding for vaccination and testing.
show that nearly half of the Long COVID community is meeting the criteria for the complex, chronic disease of myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS
), meaning as many as 12 million people are already developing ME/CFS following COVID-19. We know that this crisis has no end in sight.
Recovery from ME/CFS is rare, and the disease is highly debilitating with 75 percent unable to work, and 25 percent bed-bound.
“Not only is the pandemic not over, the disabling of millions of Americans from Long COVID and ME/CFS has become a national emergency,” said Laurie Jones, Executive Director of #MEAction.
“The HIV crisis did not go away when it was ignored and trivialized. The successful national effort to bring research, treatment, care and support to people living with HIV happened because those most affected refused to stay silent,” said Gabriel San Emeterio, Cofounder of Strategies for High Impact (S4HI) and the Network for Long COVID Justice. “Those of us disabled by pandemics are not afraid to tell the truth, and we will not be sidelined by callous and inaccurate political calculations. We are never going to be silenced about the truths of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“With 400 Americans dying each day, COVID-19 is a textbook example of a pandemic,” said Ben HsuBorger, #MEAction Advocacy Director. “And pandemics are chronic, with long term consequences that outlast their acute phases. But we aren’t even at that place with COVID-19 — we have extremely high rates of acute disease across the country, and one COVID-19 death every three minutes. Biden’s lies are costing lives.”
“The president’s misstatements are not only at odds with the fact that the U.S. leads in COVID cases and deaths among peer nations,” explained JD Davids of MEAction and the Network for Long COVID Justice. “They directly jeopardize the lives of millions who remain at high risk of mortality and further disability from COVID and Long COVID, and the legions of formerly healthy people who have joined and will join our ranks due to this ongoing pandemic.”
“Here’s the hard truth: COVID rates remain high, including among vaccinated people — and even asymptomatic or mild infections among the vaccinated can lead to Long COVID. And half of those with Long COVID may have ME/CFS, an often severe condition largely ignored by research and medical providers for decades,” explained Therese Russo, #MEAction New York State Leader. “Why is it our job — the ones who risk significant medical setbacks by traveling here today — to tell the truth to the American people?”
“COVID death and disability continues to heavily impact Black, Latine, Indigenous and low-income communities. We are not in “pretty good shape,” and we will not forget that President Biden is throwing us away with his denial of the pandemic,” said Claudia Carrera
“I have been homebound for over two years with ME/CFS, which was made worse by COVID,” said, Cory Wyszynski, from Los Angeles, California, “We need to declare a national emergency to prevent this happening to others, and to bring treatment and support to millions already affected. The president is putting wrongheaded politics above the truth, and we will hold him accountable.”