MEDIA ADVISORY: HELP Committee to Hold Hearing on Addressing Long COVID in America

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), will hold a hearing Thursday, January 18 at 10:00 a.m. ET titled, “Addressing Long COVID: Advancing Research and Improving Patient Care.”

“The impacts of this pandemic are still being felt by millions of families,” said Sanders. “We cannot turn our backs on the American people who continue to struggle with long COVID. At all levels of government, we must do more to address the health crises countless Americans are living through because of the coronavirus. Lives are at stake. I look forward to hearing from patients, experts, and researchers about what we must do to address this crisis, including the advanced research and patient care that so many Americans desperately need.”

Today, millions of Americans live with long COVID and its many symptoms. These include fatigue, cognitive impairment (commonly referred to as  brain fog), muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sleep difficulties, mood changes, and more. With millions of Americans suffering each and every day, more must be done to address this crisis.

Symptoms of long COVID for many have interfered with childcare, exercise, the ability to work, and social activities – disruptions that can impact one’s mental health. According to estimates from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 16 million working-age Americans reported having long COVID – and of those, 2 to 4 million are out of work due to long COVID. For some, the change in job status can affect health insurance, which can further complicate treatment options.

What: Hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to consider “Addressing Long COVID: Advancing Research and Improving Patient Care”
When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, January 18, 2024
Where: Room 430, Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.

Panel I
Angela Meriquez Vázquez, M.S.W., Long COVID Patient, Los Angeles, CA
Rachel Beale, M.B.A., Long COVID Patient, Southampton County, VA
Nicole Heim, Parent of Long COVID Patient, Winchester, VA

Panel II
Michelle Harkins, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Ziyad Al-Aly, M.D., Clinical Epidemiologist, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Charisse Madlock-Brown, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Health Informatics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Tiffany Walker, M.D., Assistant Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA