New Research Will Look Into Understanding, Treating Long COVID

President Biden has ordered a national research plan to look into long COVID.

New Research Will Look Into Understanding, Treating Long COVID
Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

COVID-19 continues to impact people around the world, including millions suffering from "long COVID."

“I might have a severe headache for a week, but then it will go away but then another week," Jeff Whitmer said. 

Whitmer says it's been almost a year and a half since he contracted COVID, and he's still dealing with a racing heart, body aches and brain fog.

“It turned my life upside down," Whitmer said.

Experts estimate it affects as many as 1 in 3 people who get the virus. However, the severity and duration of symptoms vary.

“Long COVID is real, and there is still so much we don’t know about it," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.

On Tuesday, the Biden administraton ordered new research to look into long COVID. Federal agencies will assist people with the condition and help provide job protection and insurance coverage.  

“We're launching the first-ever inter-agency national research agenda on long COVID, a national research action plan," Becerra said. "HHS will lead a government-wide interagency."

The focus will be on improving care, services and support and enhancing education.

Congress is working to pass an additional $10 billion in COVID funding, but it’s far short of what the Biden administration said is necessary to fully defeat the pandemic. 

“As we have made clear, we need more for our domestic response to stay up to date on vaccines and sustain testing capacity," said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator. 

Zients says most importantly, global funding is needed to vaccinate people around the globe and prevent variants.

“The current seven-day average of cases is at about 25,000 cases per day, a decrease nationally," said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director. 

In the U.S., COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are down compared to last week.

The COVID response team announced they have expanded free COVID tests to people with Medicare. They can now access eight tests a month at no cost.