Millions of Americans suffering from long Covid could be receiving additional assistance soon. Yesterday, President Biden issued a memorandum directing government agencies to take further steps to research and treat the disorder, which is estimated to afflict somewhere between 7.7 to 23 million Americans. The new action plan will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The network of long covid clinics being run through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will be expanded. A new initiative, the Health+ project, will gather feedback from individuals living with the illness and use it to put into place new processes at the clinics.
Experts studying the condition are praising the Biden administration for assembling a government-wide effort to combat the situation. Many say that it was an overdue recognition of the disorder’s impact. Also, they feel the administration must go further in devoting resources and making treatment of long covid a priority. For example, a National Institutes of Health study on long covid has been given $1.15 billion and aims to enroll 40,000 people. Experts say this number is too small when you consider the millions of Americans plagued with the condition who need help and want answers.
However, those suffering from the condition say that recognizing long covid is real and isn’t just something in their heads is major. They also feel that the announcement will increase awareness of the situation and help reduce the red tape to get the help they need.