These 69 Republicans Voted Against Researching COVID's Effect on the Brain

Congress on Tuesday passed a bill for research on the cognitive effects of COVID-19, although 69 Republicans voted against it.

The Brycen Gray and Ben Price COVID-19 Cognitive Research Act passed by 350-69. Eight Republicans and four Democrats abstained on the vote.

A two-thirds majority was needed to pass the bill, which was named after Brycen Gray, 17, and Ben Price, 48, who both died by suicide following mental health issues after they contracted COVID-19.

The legislation calls on the National Science Foundation to give grants to eligible institutions—such as universities and non-profits—to help them research "the disruption of regular cognitive processes associated with both short-term and long-term COVID-19 infections."

Gaetz, Boebert, MTG
From left to right, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) attend a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on October 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. All three representatives voted against more funding for research into the effects of COVID-19 on the brain. Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty

The bill says the grants will be awarded on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis.

The research to be funded includes studying the effects of the coronavirus on cognition, emotion, function and neural structure, as well as the influence COVID-related psychological and psychosocial factors have on cognition.

When tabling the bill in October, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) cited research in The Lancet Psychiatry that said roughly a third of COVID-19 patients received a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis in the six months after they tested positive for the virus.

The bill says that research is "urgently needed" to better understand why disruption in cognition regularly occurs as a consequence of COVID-19.

"Despite having no history of mental illness, each of them began to battle symptoms such as anxiety, panic and paranoia," Gonzalez said of Gray and Price.

"The disease took Brycen and Ben from two of the healthiest, most vibrant people you could find, to individuals so debilitated that they could not bear to live another day. While they fought to the bitter end, each chose to end their pain," Gonzalez said.

He said the bill would help scientists understand more about the impact COVID-19 has on the brain.

"If we believe in protecting our families, we need to act now and start finding answers to why COVID-19 can have such a significant impact on the brain. The legislation before us today is another important step in that effort," the Ohio Republican said.

Only Republicans voted against the bill.

The full list of Republicans who voted against the bill

Rick Allen (GA)

Jodey Arrington (TX)

Jim Banks (Ind.)

Jack Bergman (Mich.)

Andy Biggs (AZ)

Dan Bishop (NC)

Lauren Boebert (CO)

Mo Brooks (AL)

Ken Buck (CO)

Tim Burchett (TN)

Michael Burgess (TX)

Kat Cammack (FL)

Madison Cawthorn (NC)

Ben Cline (VA)

Michael Cloud (TX)

Andrew Clyde (GA)

James Comer (KY)

Warren Davidson (OH)

Scott DesJarlais (TN)

Byron Donalds (FL)

Ron Estes (KS)

Pat Fallon (TX)

Scott Fitzgerald (WI)

Virginia Foxx (NC)

Russ Fulcher (Idaho)

Matt Gaetz (FL)

Louie Gohmert (TX)

Bob Good (VA)

Lance Gooden (TX)

Paul Gosar (AZ)

Mark Green (TN)

Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)

Morgan Griffith (VA)

Glenn Grothman (WI)

Andy Harris (MD)

Diana Harshbarger (TN)

Kevin Hern (OK)

Yvette Herrell (NM)

Jody Hice (GA)

Clay Higgins (LA)

Ashley Hinson (IA)

Darrell Issa (CA)

Ronny Jackson (TX)

Mike Johnson (LA)

Jim Jordan (OH)

John Joyce (PA)

Debbie Lesko (AZ)

Barry Loudermilk (GA)

Nicole Malliotakis (NY)

Tracey Mann (KS)

Thomas Massie (KY)

Brian Mast (FL)

Tom McClintock (CA)

Dan Meuser (PA)

Marry Miller (IL)

Barry Moore (AL)

Troy Nehls (TX)

Ralph Norman (SC)

Greg Pence (IN)

Scott Perry (PA)

August Pfluger (TX)

Chip Roy (TX)

David Schweikert (AZ)

Mike Simpson (ID)

Van Taylor (TX)

Claudia Tenney (NY)

Tom Tiffany (WI)

Jeff Van Drew (NJ)

Beth Van Duyne (TX).

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, texting "988" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or going to 988lifeline.org.