U.S. Senate HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on Long COVID
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions will host a hearing on addressing Long COVID, advancing research and improving patient care TOMORROW, Thurs. 18 at 10 a.m. ET.
Watch the hearing and find more details HERE.
Angela Meriquez Vázquez, M.S.W. will be one of three stellar advocates testifying about her personal experience with Long COVID. Vázquez is the former President of Body Politic, a grassroots health justice organization at the forefront of Long COVID advocacy, now a program of #MEAction. #MEAction is an advocacy organization fighting for people with ME/CFS– one of the main diseases affecting people with Long COVID.
“The need for Long COVID investment is critical and time-sensitive for millions living with Long COVID– especially for marginalized communities who are more likely to get COVID-19, but have the least access to healthcare and benefit support during and after infection,” said Vázquez.
Studies show that nearly half of the Long COVID community meets the diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), but government institutions continue to ignore the expertise that already exists about the disease to the peril of everyone. The Long COVID community is calling for a “moonshot investment” from the US government– at least $1 billion annually over the next ten years to address the problem.
“The best time to invest in research for infection-associated chronic illness was 40 years ago. The second best time is today,” said Jaime Seltzer, #MEAction’s Scientific Director. “The senate has the opportunity to transform the field by providing consistent annual support for research, helping the millions who have developed infection-associated chronic illnesses like ME/CFS after COVID. That would mean so much to patients. Just as importantly, such a regular infusion of support would have implications for human health far beyond COVID.”
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator from 2020 to 2021, Deborah Birx, called for the pandemic to be a wake-up call for ME/CFS.
“If we had taken Chronic Fatigue Syndrome seriously, if we had taken that spectrum of disease seriously– we might have treatment right now for Long COVID,” said Birx on NewsNation last week. “I really hope that this is a wake-up call for United States, around the world…we have 21st Century technology. We can figure this out. We need to listen to our patients, we need to do the science, then we can come up with a therapy.”
For more information about #MEAction, visit meaction.net.