WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during a hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosa (D-NV), a member of the committee, questioned medical experts on the challenges that seniors in Nevada and across the country are facing during the coronavirus pandemic, and what is being done to limit re-infection in vulnerable communities.
“Research to fully understand how this virus works and how to best treat and prevent it is so critical. I recently introduced legislation with Senator Rubio – the Ensuring Understanding of COVID-19 to Protect Public Health Act – to require a longitudinal study of COVID-19, with a wide range of patients — including individuals of all ages, along with diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, geography, and underlying health conditions,” began Senator Rosen. “We need to understand why this virus impacts some people, like our seniors, differently than others. And we need to understand what the presence of antibodies really means—if seniors and others who get sick gain an immune response or not.”
“Reports of groups of patients becoming ill a second time is very concerning,” Senator Rosa continued. “Can you talk about the latest research that’s following patients who are diagnosed a second time with coronavirus? Do we know if this is a brand new infection, or if the original infection is making them sick again? And what does this mean for vaccine development?”
BACKGROUND: Recently, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Ensuring Understanding of COVID-19 to Protect Public Health Act, along with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). This legislation would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a longitudinal study on mild, moderate, and severe cases of COVID-19 to gain a full understanding of both the short and long-term health impacts of the novel coronavirus. Identical companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY).