August 18, 2022
The House of Representatives passed the Brycen Gray and Ben Price COVID–19 Cognitive Research Act on July 26th. This bill, introduced by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), authorizes $1,000,000 for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research on the disruption of regular cognitive processes associated with both short-term and long-term COVID-19 infections.
Following the tragic deaths of two Ohioans from suicide, both of whom experienced new mental health challenges following COVID-19 infection, Rep. Gonzalez sought to ensure that others did not needlessly suffer the same. From his position on the House Science Committee, Rep. Gonzalez worked with the brain science community, including consulting with FABBS staff, to craft a bill that could have an accelerated path to enactment and real impact.
The final legislation directs NSF to fund research on this subject, including through the RAPID mechanism, to quickly improve our understanding of COVID-19’s effects on cognition. It also directs the National Academies to produce a report evaluating the existing research in this area and providing recommendations to ensure that the latest information and best practices are shared with relevant stakeholders, including public health authorities, schools, caregivers, and more.
FABBS was grateful for the opportunity to be helpful in the development of this legislation, and we look forward to working with the National Academies to communicate the findings of their report.