Home 2022 Elections Video: Sen. Tim Kaine Says “Long COVID Isn’t Going Away”; Historical Midterm...

Video: Sen. Tim Kaine Says “Long COVID Isn’t Going Away”; Historical Midterm Election Trends Aren’t an “Iron Law of Nature”; “I wouldn’t count Joe Biden out between now and November”

Kaine also wonders whether Republicans can succeed at "softly hugging" Trump like Youngkin did.


See below for video of Sen. Tim Kaine’s conversation with the WaPo this afternoon on “Long COVID,” which he got in the spring of 2020. As Sen. Kaine points out, “anywhere between 5% and 30% of people who get COVID could have persistent Long COVID symptoms.” So there could be anywhere from 5 million or 30 million Long COVID sufferers in the U.S., we don’t really know.  As for symptoms, they range from neurological (e.g., Kaine has “nerve tingling” that’s never gone away) to loss of taste/smell, light sensitivity, ringing in the ears, respiratory conditions, the heart rate racing up and down, pulmonary problems, intense fatigue, etc. Also, we don’t know the exact relationship between the severity of COVID symptoms and the incidence of Long COVID. More comments by Sen. Kaine:

  • “Long COVID isn’t going away…even when all the health officials declare that the public emergency is over, the two pieces that are going to continue are Long COVID and the combined mental health impacts of [the COVID pandemic]…”
  • “We hear about this from people wherever we go…I don’t think that the Long COVID community is going to be silent and they’re not going to let us forget them.”
  • On getting rid of mask mandates, Sen. Kaine said he’s concerned about moving too quickly. “I think I’m probably going to be wearing masks on airplanes when I travel for a while just out of an abundance of caution.”
  • “We might get some really good treatments and cure answers before we get cause answers.”
  • Some Long COVID patients are “either not believed – there’s no such thing as Long COVID – or you probably have anxiety – can we prescribe you anti-anxiety medication?” That’s one reason why Sen. Kaine feels it’s important for him to talk about his own Long COVID symptoms (mostly nerve tingling 24/7).

On political topics, Sen. Kaine was asked several questions:

  • On the midterm elections, Sen. Kaine said the historical norm is that midterms tend to go badly for the party in power.  But “that doesn’t have to be the case, it’s not an iron law of nature…If the COVID numbers continue to come down, and people feel like they’re living more and more normally, and we continue to see significant strength in the economy…also…we’ve got to deal with [inflation]…that could create a feeling of psychological uplift that could cut against the midterm headwinds…Do Americans feel like, hey, we’re in the midst of a good American comeback story after a few tough years?”
  • “This has been the two toughest years – I’m 64 – the two toughest years in some ways for our country during my 64 years…the combined weight of all of it led to a really high level of anxiety and just pain and suffering…and frankly, nobody can give a comeback story better than Joe Biden, both personally and politically – he’s been counted out a lot…and had to fight his way back…so I wouldn’t count Joe Biden out between now and November in terms of his being able to tell that comeback story.…”
  • On whether Glenn Youngkin might be the future of the Republican Party, Sen. Kaine said he’s “always wrong” on predicting what’s going to happen with Republican Party, who they’re going to nominate for president, because “I’m not a Republican – I don’t think like them and they don’t think like me.”
  • “One thing that Gov. Youngkin did that’s going to be interesting to see whether others pursue it, and if so how, is this issue of holding President Trump close but not too close…I would say he was sort of softly hugging Trump but not talking too loudly about doing it; that is a very very delicate line to walk.”



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