News Release

Long Covid: A New Report


The Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center released a new report last week on long Covid. 

SHAWN FREMSTAD;, @ShawnFremstad 
    Fremstad is a senior policy fellow at CEPR. 

The report offers an explanation of key research on long Covid thus far, including estimates of how many Americans are actually living with long Covid as well as the finding that long Covid is similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The authors argue that “if research on ME/CFS had been better funded in the past, the U.S. would be in a better position today” to address long Covid. Fremstad also highlighted new data analysis by CEPR that shows “a sharp increase in cognitive disabilities among adults aged 25-54.” 

The authors put forth several key recommendations on long Covid, including but not limited to:

  • Prevention. Invest in $7.84 billion in the public health information system over the next five years; Covid prevention; global vaccination efforts; and indoor air quality improvements.
  • Medical research and health care. Establish and fund an institute on complex chronic conditions at the NIH; ensure free or affordable health insurance for people with complex chronic conditions. 
  • Social insurance. Ensure paid leave, sick days, and temporary disability insurance for workers; remove barriers to SSDI and SSI; increase access and eligibility to unemployment insurance; provide rental housing assistance. 

Fremstad told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “Long Covid hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves in the media and even from policy makers––and there really hasn’t been this kind of report that tries to tie various strands together (medical research, disability and employment impacts, policy recommendations, etc.). Although the White House released two reports in August, the long Covid community was fairly disappointed.” At the time, IPA wrote that Kristin Urquiza, the cofounder of Marked By Covid, was “filled… with an abundance of sadness, rage, and determination” at the White House’s paltry response. 

Fremstad noted that in the coming days, the Census Bureau will release Household Pulse Survey data, including––for the first time––data on “disabilities and limitations among people who have developed long Covid. The U.S. hasn’t had this kind of national survey data on long Covid disabilities (as opposed to just prevalence).”