The White House and Federal Agencies Focus on Addressing Long COVID

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Some patients that have recovered from a COVID-19 infection experience what the CDC has termed “long-COVID”. Long-COVID is a condition  which results in individuals experiencing long-term side effects from a COVID-19 infection. Long-COVID symptoms can persist for weeks to months after an infection and include symptoms of fatigue, fever, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, dizziness, and other respiratory, neurological, and digestive symptoms. In April 2022, the White House administration announced it would be expanding the work of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to learn more about long COVID. As part of this expansion, the White House would be directing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a national research action plan on long COVID.

This is not the first action by a federal agency to address the impact of long-COVID. For example, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Employment and Training Administration, and Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs have created a virtual platform seeking input on ways to support workers and their families who are coping with symptoms of long COVID. Part of the DOL’s program includes the Understanding and Addressing the Workplace Challenges Related to Long COVID project, which provides an opportunity for impacted parties to share their experiences, insights, concerns, and possible solutions to workplace challenges posed by long COVID.  Similarly, HHS and the Department of Justice have also issued guidance on long-COVID and the rights of persons with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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