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Sen. Tim Kaine Reveals Own Symptoms As He Introduces Bill to Study Effects of Long COVID

Sen. Tim Kaine Reveals Own Symptoms As He Introduces Bill to Study Effects of Long COVID

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) had COVID-19 like millions of other Americans. But unlike most people who fully recover from the Coronavirus with no lingering side effects, Sen. Kaine revealed on Wednesday that he’s a part of a small but significant amount of people still dealing with the virus’ symptoms, a form of the illness now known as long COVID.

Almost two full years after contracting COVID-19 in the Spring of 2020, Kaine says he still has a “24/7” tingling sensation that runs through his body. That’s part of what motivated Sen. Kaine to introduce a bill that would fund research into long COVID and the lasting effects of the virus and create treatment resources for people suffering. The bill, which Kaine introduced on Wednesday with Sens. Edward J. Markey and Tammy Duckworth, is called the Comprehensive Access to Resources and Education (CARE) for Long COVID Act.

How and why some people develop long COVID while others do not, and how to treat it, is still largely unknown. An estimated one-third to half of all COVID-19 patients will have long COVID, even if their initial cases were mild, as Sen. Kaine’s was. “I tell people it feels like all my nerves have had like five cups of coffee,” he told the Washington Post. But people with long COVID don’t know how long they’ll be treating it, and “that’s going to put a burden on our health-care system,” Sen. Kaine said, “and it’s also going to require some research and some understanding, compassion, for people dealing with these symptoms — adjustments and accommodations in the workplace. There’s going to be a lot of consequences of this.”

Sen. Kaine has gone to a neurologist and had an MRI to try and better understand why he still has tingling nerves, but his doctor said that the scans came back clear. That was both comforting and frustrating, Kaine said. He just wanted to get back to how he felt before he had COVID. While Sen. Kaine says his symptoms are manageable, he wants to help the people who are still dealing with symptoms like brain fog, heart problems, respiratory issues, and the loss of smell and taste.

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