Government launches office for Long COVID research

Government launches office for Long COVID research

The Biden Administration Launches Office for Long COVID Research and Practice

By Cara Murez

As Americans continue to grapple with the effects of long COVID, the Biden administration has taken a significant step by announcing the creation of a new office dedicated to researching and addressing this condition. The Office of Long COVID Research and Practice, which will be part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is poised to lead the U.S. response to long COVID, including ongoing clinical trials and research programs aimed at understanding, treating, and preventing this chronic condition.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasizes the importance of addressing the impact of long COVID and providing resources to those in need. He states, “As our nation continues to make strides in combating COVID-19, it is crucial that we address the impact of long COVID and provide resources to those in need.” Becerra further highlights the significance of this new office, stating that President Biden called on HHS to coordinate the response to long COVID, and the official establishment of the Long COVID Coordinating Office and the launch of the RECOVER clinical trials solidify this issue as an ongoing priority.

The RECOVER research program, with a budget of $1.15 billion, aims to gain a better understanding of long COVID, develop effective treatment methods, and work towards prevention strategies. According to estimates by the HHS, as many as 23 million Americans have developed long COVID.

Research has identified 12 possible symptoms associated with long COVID. These symptoms include worsened health after mental or physical activity, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, changes in taste or smell, thirst, changes in sexual desire or capacity, gastrointestinal symptoms, heart palpitations, chronic cough, chest pain, and abnormal movements. It is important to note that there are more than 200 symptoms that have been associated with long COVID, making it a complex condition with a wide range of impacts on individuals.

The Office of Long COVID Research and Practice, led by HHS Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Dr. Rachel Levine, aims to enhance ongoing efforts across the U.S. government to improve the lives of those experiencing the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaboration between federal, state, and local partners, as well as patients, providers, researchers, and the business sector, will be instrumental in addressing the urgent needs of the American people affected by long COVID.

This announcement from the Biden administration demonstrates a commitment to understanding and addressing the long-term effects of COVID-19. The creation of the Office of Long COVID Research and Practice is a crucial step in providing support, resources, and much-needed solutions to individuals living with this chronic condition.

For more information, please refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s resources on long COVID.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services, news release, July 31, 2023