Long COVID-19 is 'greatest mass-disabling event in human history,' patient advocate says 

Experts and patients with long COVID-19 say the government is not providing enough relief or resources for what one advocate called "greatest mass-disabling event in human history," Time reported Sept. 19.

An estimated 16 million U.S. adults have lingering health issues after a COVID-19 infection, and up to 4 million people are out of work because of their symptoms, according to an Aug. 24 report from the Brookings Institute. 

A group of COVID-19 survivors with long-term symptoms protested outside of the White House Sept. 19, calling for more federal support for those with the condition after President Joe Biden said "the pandemic is over" in remarks he has since clarified. Politico reported Sept. 7 that physicians are turning to peers for help treating COVID-19 patients amid the absence of detailed federal guidance.

“Leaders have thrown their hands up in the air and basically said, 'You do you,'" Kristin Urquiza, founder of the advocacy group Marked By COVID, told Time.

HHS released two reports in August outlining various ongoing federal research projects for the condition, along with an outline of further steps needed to support patients. The agency said it also plans to establish a long COVID-19 office, though the reports offered no details on funding, staffing or a timeline.

Physicians and advocates were quick to call out the reports' shortcomings. 

"Many of the resources provided in the reports seem like cold comforts and temporary Band-Aids when a tourniquet and emergency surgery is needed," Ms. Urquiza told Rolling Stone about the reports Aug. 3.


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