(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - As school districts formulate plans to potentially reopen schools in autumn, Congressman Jamie Raskin joined 80 Members of the House, led by Reps. Eliot L. Engel and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in calling on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to increase research on the impact of coronavirus on children.

“The debate currently raging over reopening schools this Fall highlights just how little we know about the long-term impacts of COVID-19, particularly on children. The health and safety of families across the country should be our top concern and science should be driving our decision-making, not politics,” Engel said. “As we invest more in coronavirus research, it is critical that we assess the impact of this pandemic on children so that we can provide parents with the appropriate resources and tools to combat this virus. We need our National Institutes of Health to expand research on the effects of COVID-19 on children in order to make sound public health decisions.”

“At Columbia we have appreciated that certain children have risk factors for severe primary COVID-19 as well as that there is a unique post-infectious inflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV2 infection. Ongoing research is essential to understanding how to best protect our children and treat those whose lives are at risk from COVID-19. The insights we gain from the pediatric presentations of the disease will also likely contribute to the understanding of those affected of all ages. We thank Congressman Engel and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers for organizing this letter and all of the many members who signed on,” said Dr. Jordan Orange, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and member of the Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research.

The letter is supported by the Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research, a group of 25 leading children’s hospitals such as Columbia University, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, and Boston’s Children Hospital.

A copy of the letter is available here.