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Kaine, with long COVID himself, introduces research bill

Nearly two years after getting COVID-19, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine says he still has mild symptoms.

Kaine joined two fellow Democratic senators, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, in introducing a bill Wednesday to fund research aimed at better understanding long COVID-19.

“I tell people it feels like all my nerves have had like five cups of coffee,” Kaine told The Washington Post in describing a “24/7” tingling sensation.

The Comprehensive Access to Resources and Education (CARE) for Long COVID Act would centralize data about patient experiences and fund research into the effectiveness of treatments. It also would expand resources available to help those with lingering symptoms.

Kaine's flu-like symptoms began in March 2020 and went away within weeks, but the nerve tingling never stopped. He tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in May 2020.

The little-understood phenomenon in which symptoms linger for weeks or months after a coronavirus infection could affect thousands.

“That’s going to put a burden on our health-care system,” 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.”