Biden administration announces resources to support people with long Covid

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) -- The Biden administration on Monday released guidance and resources to support people experiencing long-term effects of Covid-19, known as "long Covid," as the condition shapes up to be a major, long-term public health issue.

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden marked the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Some people with long Covid may have a disability under various civil rights laws that entitles them to protection from discrimination, according to guidance released by the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Justice.

The administration also provided guidance that addresses the needs of children with long Covid who may be children with disabilities, and updated information about where people can access resources and accommodations.

Long Covid, or post-Covid, is an umbrella term that describes a variety of physical and mental problems that can follow four or more weeks after a Covid-19 infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The symptoms are not consistent, and it is not yet known how many people have the condition. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, fever, anxiety, depression, pain, a loss of taste and smell, difficulty thinking, a racing heart and many others.

During his remarks, Biden highlighted the work of disability advocates and also tout the bipartisan roots of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The speech comes as the White House presses forward for a bipartisan deal in Congress to rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure. The fate of the bipartisan infrastructure framework currently hangs in the balance on Capitol Hill.

Biden on Monday touted the ADA as an essential piece of legislation for the more than 60 million Americans living with a disability and outline how the legislation has "had real impact on real lives," the official said.

The President was expected to note the law "has prevented disabled Americans from being denied service at a restaurant or grocery store, allowed a person in a wheelchair to ride a bus or train to work or school and stopped employers from refusing to hire workers because of a disability," according to a White House official who spoke to CNN before the speech.

Biden was also expected to note that "too many disabled Americans still face barriers to freedom and equality," the official told CNN. The President will highlight the provisions in his economic proposals that address the needs of Americans with disabilities, including expanding access to long-term services and supports for people with disabilities.

The President and vice president were joined by second gentleman Doug Emhoff, bipartisan leaders in Congress and advocates from the disability community. Biden also signed a proclamation marking the anniversary of the passing of the law.

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