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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

White House Updates for Americans with Disabilities

Source: White House

April 5, 2022

The Biden Administration Accelerates Whole-of-Government Effort to Prevent, Detect, and Treat Long COVID

Today, President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum directing a whole-of-government approach to the long-term impacts of COVID-19. Please find here the fact sheet and Presidential Memorandum, and please share!

The Presidential Memorandum (PM) directs HHS to coordinate a new interagency effort to accelerate and further our work to address these long-term effects of COVID-19. Thanks to President Biden’s whole-of-government COVID response, our nation has made tremendous progress in our fight against COVID-19, and America has the tools to protect against and treat COVID-19. At the same time, millions of individuals are suffering from prolonged illness from COVID-19, known as “Long COVID”; experiencing the effects of a COVID-related loss, and grappling with mental health and substance use issues.

The FDA Announces That Those 50+ and the Immunocompromised Are Eligible for a Second Booster

Last week, FDA and CDC made people 50 and older and the immunocompromised eligible for another booster – an important action to offer increased protection to some of the most vulnerable and high risk groups. This is especially important for the elderly (65+) and those with serious underlying medical conditions in these populations. FDA and CDC will continue to evaluate the data on the benefit of another booster dose for additional populations and will provide updates as additional findings become available.

As FDA and CDC have also made clear, getting your third dose – the original booster shot – remains incredibly important for everyone who is eligible. For most people who have been vaccinated and had one booster, your original booster shot is continuing to provide you with good protection from being hospitalized or dying. If you haven’t had a first booster yet, now is a good time to get one. 

We’ve developed several materials to help people navigate their questions about boosters – please feel free to pass these along to your networks:

And if you’d like to send out communications to your networks about boosters:

Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice to Speak on Mental Health

On Wednesday at 2:30 PM, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice will be delivering a major policy speech on mental health at a virtual event co-hosted by the Brookings Institution and The Commonwealth Fund. In his State of the Union address, President Biden identified mental health as a core pillar of his Unity Agenda. Amb. Rice’s remarks will build off the State of the Union by providing new details on the Administration’s strategy for addressing this national crisis; she will lay out a three-part plan to build system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a continuum of support across our health and social services infrastructure.  

Justice Department Issues Guidance on Protections for People with Opioid Use Disorder under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Department of Justice announced today that it has published guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with opioid use disorder (OUD) who are in treatment or recovery, including those who take medication to treat their OUD. The publication, “The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Opioid Crisis: Combating Discrimination Against People in Treatment or Recovery,” is intended to help people with OUD who are in treatment or recovery understand their rights under federal law and to provide guidance to entities covered by the ADA about how to comply with the law. The complete DOJ Press Release is available here

Biden Administration Launches COVID.gov, a New One-Stop Shop Website for Vaccines, Tests, Treatments, Masks, and the Latest COVID-19 Information

Last Week, the Biden Administration launched COVID.gov, a new one-stop shop website to help all people in the United States gain even better access to lifesaving tools like vaccines, tests, treatments, and masks, as well as get the latest updates on COVID-19 in their area. The Administration has worked over the past 14 months to set up over 90,000 vaccination sites, make more than 400 million high-quality masks available for free, send free tests to peoples’ homes, and stand up new test-to-treat sites where people can get tested and receive life-saving antivirals all in one place. Now, with a click of a button, people will be able to find where to access all of these tools, as well as receive the latest CDC data on the level of COVID-19 in their community.

As part of COVID.gov, a new Test-to-Treat locator will help people access pharmacies and community health centers across the nation where people can get tested for COVID-19 and receive appropriate treatments if they need them. President Biden announced the Test-to-Treat initiative in his State of the Union address earlier this month. Since that time, the Administration has already launched over 2,000 of these sites, plus more than 240 sites across Veteran’s Health Administration and Department of Defense facilities to serve veterans, military personnel, and their families. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the Administration is ensuring locations are established in our most hard-hit and high-risk communities.

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