Navajo Nation President: Tribe yet to receive federal dollars for COVID-19

Apr 10, 2020, 7:59 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm

PHOENIX — The Navajo Nation — located in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah — reported an additional 39 positive cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total to 597.

As the virus sweeps across the tribe, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Friday that the tribe has yet to receive federal money to fight COVID-19, with the exception of some that have come into the Navajo Nation Indian Health Service “bits at a time.”

“Three legislations have been approved by Congress and signed into law by the President of the United States of America, but we have yet to see any of those dollars come into the Navajo Nation, and I think clear across Indian country as well,” Nez said.

“Money that was intended for U.S. citizens throughout the country, they’re getting it, the states are getting it, the counties are getting it … but the first citizens of this country are still at the bottom of the list,” he added.

Nez admitted the Navajo Nation doesn’t have the best healthcare facilities to treat the tribe made up of 350,000 members, half of which Naz said lives off the Navajo Nation.

The tribe currently has close to 200 beds and 50 ventilators, according to Nez, with another 50 ventilators coming. He added the Arizona National Guard put a temporary medical facility tent in Chinle, Arizona.

In an effort to fight the virus, the Navajo Nation is enacting a 57-hour curfew that is set to begin on Friday evening and last until Monday morning at 5:00 a.m., with the exception of essential employees who are required to have documentation from their employer.

Navajo police will enforce the curfew with citations that may include a fine up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer announced in an online town hall update on Thursday that they are self-quarantined after being near somebody who later tested positive for the virus.

On day two of his 14-day quarantine, Nez said he’s feeling great and doesn’t have any symptoms.

“This incident is not going to keep me down,” Nez said. “Once those 12 days are up we are going to be out there, boots on the ground helping our Navajo Nation citizens.”

No additional deaths related to the coronavirus in the Navajo Nation were reported on Friday, leaving the total at 22.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Coronavirus News

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a press briefing at the White House...
Associated Press

US Homeland Security secretary tests positive for COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tested positive Tuesday for COVID-19 and is isolating at home, the agency said. The secretary has been fully vaccinated and is experiencing only “mild congestion,” DHS said in a statement. The agency said he will work from home under the protocols recommended by the U.S. Centers for […]
21 hours ago
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)...
Torrence Dunham

Tucson votes to terminate city employees who aren’t vaccinated against COVID by Dec. 1

The Tucson City Council voted Tuesday afternoon to terminate city employees who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 1.
21 hours ago
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

US Labor Department warns Arizona, 2 other GOP states over COVID rules

The Biden administration threatened Tuesday to revoke the authority for Arizona and two other Republican-controlled states to handle their own workplace safety enforcement because they have refused to adopt rules to protect health care workers from COVID-19.
21 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Verde Valley Fire District)...

Arizona firefighter-paramedic dies of COVID-19 complications

Tyrone Bell, an Arizona firefighter/paramedic, died Monday from COVID-19 complications, the Verde Valley Fire District announced.
21 hours ago
FILE - This Dec. 23, 2020 file photo shows a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the first roun...
Associated Press

US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster doses this week in an effort to provide flexibility as the campaign for extra shots expands. The upcoming announcement by the Food and Drug Administration is likely to come along with authorization for boosters of the Moderna and Johnson […]
21 hours ago
A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination center in Casablanca, Morocco, Monday, Oct. ...

In report covering 3 days, Arizona adds 5,660 COVID-19 cases, 174 deaths

In a report covering three days’ worth of data, Arizona health officials on Tuesday added 5,660 cases and 174 deaths to the state’s COVID-19 totals.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
Navajo Nation President: Tribe yet to receive federal dollars for COVID-19