Engel Leads Asthma and Allergy Caucus in Marking May as "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month"

Engel Leads Asthma and Allergy Caucus in Marking May as

“National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month”

Representatives Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) and Fred Upton (MI-06), Co-Chairs of the Asthma and Allergy Caucus, were joined by Reps. TJ Cox (CA-21) and Peter King (NY-02), Members of the Caucus, in introducing a bipartisan resolution marking May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Asthma remains a critical health issue for 25 million Americans, particularly in the current coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans with asthma are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. The 16th Congressional District of New York, represented by Congressman Engel, contains the Bronx, which has the highest rate of childhood asthma and COVID-19 infection rates in New York City. To ensure his constituents with asthma have appropriate medications to manage their condition, Congressman Engel led over 50 Members on a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to take action to prevent shortages of lifesaving albuterol inhalers on April 24, 2020. 

“My district, which includes the Bronx and Westchester, is at the center of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak,” said Rep. Engel. “Compounding that massive issue are high asthma rates, particularly in the Bronx. Many of my constituents are at a heightened risk of COVID-19 because of their asthma. This resolution, which I help introduce every year, ensures that the fight against high asthma rates remains at the forefront of our public health consciousness. Right now, my colleagues in the caucus and I are fighting hard to prevent albuterol shortages and expand the National Asthma Control Program. These actions will help my constituents weather this public health crisis.”

"The main mission of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is saving lives and alleviating the burden of disease for people in our patient community. That's why resolutions like this are so important. Increased awareness leads to action and can help ?reduce mortality rates," said Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO of The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. "We're grateful May is once again being recognized as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month especially this year because of the twin threat of seasonal illness and COVID-19 which may put people living with these conditions at greater risk. We're seeing a dramatic surge in people looking for resources on how to manage asthma and allergies amid the 2019 novel coronavirus. Special thanks to Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Fred Upton, TJ Cox, and Peter King for continuing to lead on addressing the needs of Americans with asthma and allergies during this critical time."

“This year, Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month comes amid an unprecedented time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Asthma affects 24+ million people of all ages and races in the United States and for many symptoms can be life-threatening; asthma patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are at higher risk for more severe complications. It’s critically important that people with asthma and allergies know what causes symptoms, maintain good asthma and allergy control and talk with their doctor to better understand how to manage their condition and explore an appropriate treatment plan. Greater education, awareness and access to care, as well as shared decision making by patients and healthcare professionals, can lead to improved health outcomes,” Tonya A. Winders, President and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network.

“Asthma impacts nearly 25 million Americans, all of whom are at greater risk for serious illness due to COVID-19,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “During this pandemic, it is particularly important that we shine a light on those patients as well as their caregivers and providers during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.”