US President Joe Biden has called for greater research into long COVID, according to the Associated Press.
Long COVID is marked by brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms and is not well understood, it adds, noting that it appears to affect about a third of COVID-19 patients.
The AP reports that Biden has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate a new initiative aimed at better understanding the condition that builds on an effort already in place at the National Institutes of Health. NIH announced a $1 billion study, now dubbed the RECOVER Initiative, in February 2021 to study what causes and how to prevent and treat long COVID. One goal of the new initiative, the AP says, is to speed enrollment into the NIH study.
Biden further has instructed federal agencies to develop best practices for treating long COVID, the AP adds, noting that that push includes seeking $20 million in Congressional funding to establish centers of excellence. He has also called for helping people with long COVID keep health insurance and other protections, it says.
"Millions of Americans may be struggling with lingering health effects," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, according to the AP. "COVID is having effects long after the actual virus has escaped us."