WASHINGTON DC – Today, MP Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) led 17 of their colleagues in a letter to US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ), Rochelle P. Walensky, and the Centers for Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), urges the leaders of the nation’s major federal health agencies to address the lack of health oversight and funding for the treatment of children and young people with long cases of COVID. Specifically, the two lawmakers implored the nation’s top health officials to make drastic improvements in monitoring children infected with COVID-19, in addition to making all treatment options affordable and accessible to every patient.
“We urge the Department of Health and Human Services to take immediate action to improve the health care system to support and monitor children as the long-term effects of COVID-19 continue to affect them,” wrote the members. “The impact of millions of children potentially disabled by COVID-19 will have unpredictable consequences unless policy makers intervene immediately. Given that human life and health are at risk, it is imperative that the HHS remains a consistent and trusted steward of public health presenting a comprehensive and prompt federal response to control the spread of COVID-19.
Specifically, members of Congress are calling on the administration to:
- Immediately disseminate guidance to local, state, and federal public health officials emphasizing the need for better monitoring of children’s health during and after COVID-19 infection.
- Make data related to children’s health and COVID-19 available on the CDC website.
- Remove all financial barriers for patients seeking post-COVID monitoring and care.
- Use all available permissions, including entry fees, to make medicines needed by people suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19 accessible to everyone.
The letter comes a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued and released a to study indicating that COVID-19 infections in children may be linked to lifelong health consequences, including diabetes.
The letter is co-signed by Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Barbara Lee (CA-13), André Carson (IN-07), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20) , Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04 ), Michael San Nicolas (Guam-AL), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) and Ro Khanna (CA-17 ).
A full copy of the letter can be found here or below.