Reflections from the Deputy Director of the HHS Workplace of Lengthy COVID Analysis and Apply

Day-after-day I obtain e-mails from individuals with Lengthy COVID determined for assist. I’ve pals, household, and colleagues who’ve Lengthy COVID or related situations. My mom has lived with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) for over a decade-IT usually dictates what we will and can’t do as a household. I personally know what IT seems like for a medical analysis to out of the blue upend one’s life for an undetermined period of time.

I’ve been doing this work since Could 2022. A devoted group has labored exhausting to create a brand new Workplace of Lengthy COVID Analysis and Apply, launch the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Lengthy COVID, rent our inaugural Director, and work with a whole bunch of passionate colleagues inside and out of doors of presidency. We’re deeply dedicated to fixing the problem of Lengthy COVID.

Right this moment on Lengthy COVID Consciousness Day we acknowledge the tens of hundreds of thousands of People impacted by Lengthy COVID. We acknowledge the clinicians and researchers which are working to grasp and deal with Lengthy COVID. We acknowledge those that struggle for solutions. We see you.

Right this moment we launch a brand new report that lays out our targets and goals for this work and the way we take into consideration IT. We see this work falling into 5 domains: analysis, medical observe, helps and companies, public training, and coordination. Under are my reflections on every area. Learn the complete report for extra particulars.


Lengthy COVID is advanced. When Lengthy COVID was first acknowledged, and analysis started, we lacked a basic understanding of the complete medical spectrum and causes of Lengthy COVID—we didn’t know why individuals weren’t getting higher. Earlier than the RECOVER Initiative even began gathering samples, the Nationwide Institutes of Health (NIH) designed a complete infrastructure to assist collaboration between totally different authorities regulatory companies, scientific steering boards, affected person advocacy teams, and educational establishments to assist the upcoming work and design a system that might most successfully seize significant outcomes. Subsequent, RECOVER essentially spent effort and time gathering observational knowledge from research members (e.g., asking them questions on their signs and gathering biospecimens like blood and saliva) to raised perceive the illness and its impacts on individuals’s lives, and discover important clues to the underlying causes of Lengthy COVID. These clues have in flip helped develop medical trials for therapies, cures, and methods to stop Lengthy COVID.

Lengthy COVID is new, however we aren’t ranging from scratch. RECOVER, different federally funded analysis initiatives at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Division of Protection usually are not ranging from scratch. The analysis group is constructing on efforts to grasp different an infection related persistent situations that additionally influence the physique in advanced, exhausting to grasp, and certain associated methods. An advocate engaged on myalgic encephalomyelitis and persistent fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) for many years informed me that she now, for the primary time, believed that we might discover solutions to assist individuals. NIH researchers inform me they’ve by no means seen something like RECOVER. With Lengthy COVID, we’ve got the chance and duty to lastly perceive why some infections go away some individuals so sick for thus lengthy.

Scientific Apply

Healthcare suppliers need to assist sufferers with Lengthy COVID. But we all know they face every day sensible challenges. Care coordination throughout a number of specialties is troublesome with out the suitable assist. Reimbursement fashions don’t account for the time wanted with every affected person and the generally advanced and numerous exams that should be carried out. Lengthy COVID clinics have emerged to fulfill this demand, however we proceed to listen to about lengthy wait occasions and lack of entry, particularly for rural populations. Because of this, healthcare analysis companies inside HHS are funding projects to review what top quality care seems to be like for individuals with Lengthy COVID and methods to broaden entry past Lengthy COVID clinics. Different companies are working with Community Health Facilities to use finest practices to deal with the populations most impacted by the pandemic. CDC supplies Information for clinicians and ideas for sufferers to talk to clinicians. Supplier associations have began to publish steerage for suppliers. We’re forming linkages between researchers and clinicians to hurry translation of analysis findings to implementation and for medical observe to tell analysis.

Providers and Helps

Lengthy COVID analysis is underway. Clinicians are studying and creating new fashions of care. The very fact stays that folks affected by Lengthy COVID need assistance at the moment. We all know that Lengthy COVID can influence all features of an individual’s life—their means to work, research, maintain themselves and their households, and luxuriate in life. IT is important to proceed the companies and helps that may assist individuals have interaction of their every day actions. In 2022 we launched a report that pointed to federal applications that may assist assist individuals throughout all levels of life. Nevertheless, many individuals with newly developed Lengthy COVID might not understand they’re eligible for lodging and protections beneath federal legislation if their situation impacts their means to hold out a number of of your every day life actions. Quite a few federal companies are working to make sure that these with Lengthy COVID are conscious of their rights and have entry to accommodations that permit them to proceed to dwell their lives.


Whereas Lengthy COVID is on my thoughts most all the time, and public awareness appears to be growing, we nonetheless have to unfold the phrase. Public Health training campaigns are working to tell folks that COVID-19 may cause Lengthy COVID, however we nonetheless need assistance getting the phrase out. We additionally have to proceed to unfold prevention messages. So long as individuals are contaminated with COVID-19, some individuals will progress to Lengthy COVID. And repeat infections improve your threat of Lengthy COVID. Fortunately, early analysis findings counsel that vaccination for and therapy of COVID-19 reduces your threat of Lengthy COVID.


Collaboration is essential to addressing Lengthy COVID. The consequences of Lengthy COVID are far reaching, and subsequently so is our work. We work with a whole bunch of colleagues throughout federal authorities departments and companies, and almost as many non-governmental companions. Working collectively permits us to share experience, knowledge, information, and assets. IT additionally ensures that numerous views are represented. IT is just not straightforward or quick, however IT is critical. We hearken to IT all—the assist and the criticism—and IT helps us do our Jobs higher.

This report displays our present pondering on Lengthy COVID, and the actions the federal authorities is endeavor to fulfill the targets and goals laid out right here. The federal authorities continues to play a essential function on this work, however we’ll by no means be capable of resolve this problem alone. If you’re studying this, please end up within the work and be part of us.

6 thoughts on “Reflections from the Deputy Director of the HHS Workplace of Lengthy COVID Analysis and Apply”

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