Pressley, Beyer urge CDC to collect data on prevalence of Long COVID
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08) are urging the CDC to publicly report findings on the prevalence of Long COVID, including disaggregated demographic data.
Publicly reporting this critical data will help lawmakers and researchers better understand Long COVID, the depth of its public health impact, and ensure resources are available to support those suffering from it.
Long COVID, also referred to as post-COVID conditions and Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection, is a serious illness that can affect the function of multiple organs months after a person contracts COVID-19. According to the CDC, people living with Long COVID may experience a combination of symptoms, ranging from fatigue and brain fog to muscle pain and diarrhea to difficulty breathing and heart palpitations.
“[I]t is critical that Congress and the American public are able to gain insight into current data and emerging trends—including an overview of the vast array of symptoms individuals may experience, disaggregated by demographic groups—in order to inform policymaking and protect the public’s health,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
The lawmakers cited preliminary studies indicating that women are uniquely vulnerable to Long COVID and noted the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black, Latino and Indigenous communities—warning that Long COVID could mirror that trend.
“To fully confront the ongoing pandemic, Congress needs disaggregated demographic data on the prevalence of Long COVID,” the lawmakers continued. “CDC must publish findings on race, ethnicity, age, gender, previous disability, and other demographic characteristics. People across the country are experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19, and Congress deserves answers on the size and scope of this crisis.”
Full text of the letter is available here.