WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), announced the re-introduction of their bipartisan Ensuring Understanding of COVID-19 to Protect Public Health Act, legislation that would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a longitudinal study on mild, moderate, and severe cases of COVID-19 to ensure we gain a full understanding of both the short and long-term health impacts of the novel coronavirus, including on communities of color and other diverse populations. Rosen and Rubio first introduced the legislation in May 2020.
“As our country continues to battle this virus, we must ensure we continue to examine all aspects of how COVID-19 affects patients from diverse populations,” said Senator Rosen. “By focusing our nation’s efforts toward understanding the short and long-term health ramifications of COVID-19, we can arm our researchers and medical professionals with the most accurate data as they work to provide better treatment and vaccines for patients. I will continue working to protect the health of Nevadans during this unprecedented time.”
“As our nation continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical that our health care experts at the NIH conduct a comprehensive study to help guide physicians caring for patients with COVID-19,” said Senator Rubio. “There are still numerous unknowns about COVID-19, including its potential long-term health impacts, and this bipartisan bill provides the NIH with important guidelines to study this virus.”
BACKGROUND: More specifically, the bipartisan Ensuring Understanding of COVID-19 to Protect Public Health Act would direct the NIH to conduct a nationwide COVID-19 study of health outcomes and symptoms, including long-term impact on lung function and immune response, and the impact of treatments. The study would include a wide variety of patients, to ensure diversity among race, ethnicity, geography, age, gender, and underlying health conditions; and monitor mental health outcomes.
The goal of the study is to gain a full understanding of both the short-term and long-term health impacts of COVID-19. The findings would be released publicly every 3 months for the first two years, and every 6 months thereafter.
Last Congress, the bipartisan Ensuring Understanding of COVID-19 to Protect Public Health Act was endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Families USA, the Gerontological Society of America, the American Public Health Association, 2020 Mom, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the March of Dimes, Mom Congress, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Council on Aging, and the National Rural Health Association.