Biden: ‘Long COVID’ to Qualify as Disability Under New HHS Guidance

President Joe Biden announced on Monday that Americans suffering from long-term health problems after contracting the CCP virus should be protected as a disability under federal civil rights laws.

“I’m proud to announce a new effort, the first of its kind, to help Americans grappling with long term effects of COVID-19 that doctors call long-COVID,” Biden said while speaking at an event at the White House celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Many Americans who seemingly recover from the virus still face lingering challenges like breathing problems, brain fog, chronic pain, and fatigue. These conditions can sometimes … rise to the level of a disability,” he added.

The new guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says individuals experiencing “long COVID” are entitled to resources and accommodations under these laws.

The department noted that not everyone with these symptoms will automatically qualify as a disability and individuals will have to go through an assessment that will determine whether their condition will qualify.

“A person with long COVID has a disability if the person’s condition or any of its symptoms is a ‘physical or mental’ impairment that ‘substantially limits’ one or more major life activities,” according to an HHS guideline.

Biden said that those federal protections include accommodations and services in the workplace, schools, the healthcare system, and every individual whose “long COVID” symptoms qualify will be entitled to the same protections from discrimination as any other person with a disability under the ADA.

NTD Photo
President Joe Biden signs a proclamation on the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as (L-R) artist Tyree Brown, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), former Rep. Tony Coelho (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

For example, students who have a difficult time concentrating will have additional time on a test; assistance could be provided to customers suffering from joint or muscle pain and is refueling at a gas station; or a person with dizziness is allowed to be accompanied by a service animal, HHS guidelines say.

Most patients who have been infected with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus recover within weeks, but there are also people who have been seriously unwell and treated in intensive care units, taking some months to recover fully, regardless of their ailment.

There is evidence that some people who have had relatively mild symptoms at home may also have a prolonged illness. Overwhelming fatigue, palpitations, muscle aches, pins and needles, and many more symptoms are being reported as aftereffects of the CCP virus.

The percentage of patients who become long haulers is hard to pin down, in part because many early COVID-19 patients weren’t tested in time to detect the virus.

In one recent study published in Circulation Research, researchers discovered that the spike protein shell of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can damage endothelial cells—independent of the effect the virus has on cells—and may be responsible for many of the vascular and long-haul symptoms.

In other words, some of the symptoms people experience from COVID-19 are a result of the shape of the coronavirus’s spikey shell rather than the specific actions the virus produces in the cells it invades.

Joseph Mercola contributed to this report.