Navajo deaths increase from coronavirus, as U.S. delays release of federal funds



Navajo deaths increase from coronavirus, as U.S. delays release of federal funds

Update: Navajo Nation received coronavirus funds on Wednesday, after filing lawsuit
https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2020/05/navajos-receive-coronavirus-funds-after.html

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. -- The Navajo Nation reported six more deaths in the past 24 hours, and 85 new cases of coronavirus. Still, the United States government has not released funds that were allocated to Native American Nations, including $600 million for the Navajo Nation.

The federal stimulus law mandated that $8 billion be provided to tribes by the end of April. However, the funds were not released and Native American Nations filed a lawsuit.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said Tuesday, “Today, the federal government announced that they intend to release a portion of funds appropriated by Congress over one month ago to tribes to help fight COVID-19, but I’ll believe it when I see it. We’ve had to file a lawsuit to get what states received weeks ago."


President Nez said the Navajo Nation was notified directly of the intent to release the funds and during a roundtable in Phoenix on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer and Second Lady Dottie Lizer joined President Donald Trump, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, in a roundtable discussion that focused on COVID-19 in Indian Country and the signing of the proclamation on “Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Native Awareness Day," the Navajo President's Office said.

With the largest number of cases and deaths in the United States -- 2,559 and 79 deaths -- the Navajo Nation is in dire need of funds. The Navajo Nation has raised over $2 million in donations that has gone to direct aid to families. On Tuesday, supplies were delivered to Sawmill and Crystal chapters.

The Navajo Nation stands to receive over $600 million from an $8 billion tribal set aside from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The purpose of the Coronavirus Relief Fund is to provide local governments resources to cover necessary expenditures due to COVID-19.


The current Indian Health Service data shows the Navajo Nation has far more cases than any other service area:


In its PR for the White House, the mainstream media fails to focus on the fact that coronavirus cases are increasing in Arizona -- where the White House is promoting job expansion at Honeywell.

Today, Arizona has 386 new cases of coronavirus. In Phoenix/Maricopa County, where Honeywell is located, there is the largest number of coronavirus cases in Arizona, 4,929 cases, according to Arizona State statistics. The Phoenix area has a large number of minority workers.

While the White House promotes mask production at Honeywell in Arizona as coronavirus cases rise, probes are underway into the political corruption behind the mask shortage in the United States, including the federal seizures and funding to select corporations.

Massachusets is one of the states where the U.S. seized its masks, resulting in a creative alternative. 

Meanwhile, a whistleblower complaint has been filed by a federal scientist who said he has been reassigned after residing pressure from Trump to promote a selected pharmaceutical company.

Coronavirus cases in Arizona, May 6, 2020: Arizona State data


The Navajo President's Office said in its statement today that there are  85 new cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths reported. There were 236 more families assisted with supplies.

The Navajo President's Office said on Tuesday:


Vice President Lizer and Second Lady join Trump for signing of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Awareness Day proclamation

PHOENIX – On Tuesday, Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer and Second Lady Dottie Lizer joined President Donald Trump, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, in a roundtable discussion that focused on COVID-19 in Indian Country and the signing of the proclamation on “Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Native Awareness Day.”

“On behalf of the Navajo people, we commend President Trump and his administration for recognizing the traumatic epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives along with tribal communities throughout the country, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a need for great awareness to protect our sacred and precious relatives, and to honor survivors and victims who are impacted,” said Vice President Lizer.

The Nez-Lizer Administration calls for prayers and more focus on missing and murdered Diné relatives on National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls, which spotlights the movement to end violence against Indigenous women and to express appreciation to all advocates, shelters, and programs who continue to support families and survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As we face new challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to pray and support efforts to heal our homes and communities. Violence continues to impact our families and communities during the pandemic, and we must be there for one another as a mother, father, brother, and sister. Today, let's remind ourselves to check on our families, neighbors, and all relatives. We can not lose another relative to violence," said Second Lady Lizer.

"This is not only a missing persons issue, everyone needs to be a part of the movement and solution to keep our families and relatives safe and protected," added Second Lady Lizer, who also continues to focus on community-based projects and tribal programs that help Navajo families and children to help prevent and offset the impacts of social issues with Navajo Nation First Lady Phefelia Nez.

The proclamation states, “The American Indian and Alaska Native people have endured generations of injustice. They experience domestic violence, homicide, sexual assault, and abuse far more frequently than other groups. These horrific acts, committed predominantly against women and girls, are egregious and unconscionable. During Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day, we reaffirm our commitment to ending the disturbing violence against these American and to honoring those who lives have been shattered and lost.”

"This is a national issue, and we commend our local, state, and federal leaders, and most importantly, the many community-based groups and volunteers who contribute their time and resources to moving these efforts forward to reunite families. It is important for all of us to work together, and to pray for healing, restoration, and reunion," added Vice President Lizer.

The proclamation declares May 5, 2020 as The Missing and Murdered American Indian and Alaska Natives Awareness Day, and calls upon all Federal, State, tribal, and local governments to increase awareness of the crisis through appropriate programs and activities.

U.S. Department of the Treasury announces the release of a portion of CARES Act funding for tribes weeks after the approval of Congress

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation stands to receive over $600 million from an $8 billion tribal set aside from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The purpose of the Coronavirus Relief Fund is to provide local governments resources to cover necessary expenditures due to COVID-19.

This announcement comes following the collaborative efforts by the Office of the President and Vice President, Navajo Nation Washington Office, various departments and divisions, enterprises, and schools to gather and certify data to the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine allocation amounts. On Tuesday, the Office of the President and Vice President received notice directly from the White House and during a roundtable discussion attended by Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer, hosted by President Trump in Phoenix, Ariz.

On April 21, the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, on behalf of the Navajo Nation, joined a lawsuit to ensure the maximum allocation of the Coronavirus Relief Fund to tribal governments. Recently, the Departments announced that for-profit Alaska Native Corporations were eligible to receive a share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which would effectively decrease the amount federally-recognized tribes would receive. On April 27, the D.C. District Court ruled in favor of the tribes including the Navajo Nation, which led to the Department’s announcement to begin distributing funds to federally-recognized tribes.

On Tuesday, the Departments announced the following plan to disburse the $8 billion fund:

● Distribute 60 percent of the $8 billion to Tribes based on population data used in the distribution of the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG), subject to a floor of $100,000. This data is based on U.S. Census figures and is already familiar to Tribal governments.

● Distribute the remaining 40 percent of the $8 billion based on the total number of persons employed by the Indian tribe and any tribally-owned entity, and further data to be collected related to the amount of higher expenses faced by the tribe in the fight against COVID-19.

● Payment to Tribes will begin today based on the population allocation, and will take place over several banking days. Amounts calculated for Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act regional and village corporations will be held back until pending litigation relating to their eligibility is resolved.

● Payments to tribes based on employment and expenditure data will be made at a later date. Treasury will work with Tribes to confirm employment numbers and seek additional information regarding higher expenses due to the public health emergency.

“The Treasury is only releasing 60-percent of the funds, which clearly indicates that they are going to continue to fund Alaska Native Corporations. It’s shameful that the first citizens of this country are having to fight over and over for what is rightfully ours. Alaska Native Corporations should not receive funds that were specifically allocated for federally-recognized tribes. Today’s announcement of funding for tribes is far too late. We’ve lost 79 lives so far and we have far too many of our people who have the virus,” said President Nez.

He added, “Had we received the funding when Congress approved it nearly six weeks ago, we might be in a better position today. Through the media, our congressional delegates, and letters to federal agencies, we’ve done our best to hold the federal government accountable and we will continue to do so.”

“It is important to begin economic recovery efforts across the Navajo Nation because our economy is at the core of our survival as a Nation. That is why we are working tirelessly to ensure the protection and health of our communities and tribal members. We asked each of our stakeholders to report expenditures and total number of employees so we can begin understanding how COVID-19 has impacted employers, businesses, and sectors of the Navajo Nation government. With that information, we certified this data to the federal government. I am happy to see our efforts recognized with the announcement of over $600 million coming to the Nation. These funds are going to go a long way with providing government operations and services,” Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer said.

Early on, the Nez-Lizer Administration began the inquiry on the economic impact of the coronavirus on Navajo Nation investments and natural resources. The administration worked closely with congressional members to ensure that tribes were included in the $2 trillion stimulus package – of which tribal nations received $8 billion.

The Navajo Nation Washington Office was instrumental in collecting and organizing data required for the Nation’s certification to the Department of Treasury. “I’m very proud of the hard work and leadership exhibited by members of my team. We knew how important the Nation’s certification was to the process including the need to gather the data within a limited timeframe,” said Navajo Nation Washington Office Executive Director Santee Lewis. “This feat was accomplished with the assistance of various Divisions, Enterprises, Schools, and Chapters across the Navajo Nation so I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who supplied the requested data.”

The Office of the President and Vice President, as well as the Navajo Nation divisions, look forward to ensuring the federal stimulus funding is put to good use to ensure the Navajo Nation’s economic recovery. “As Navajo teachings tell us, one has to put a portion of the crop away for future use.” said President Nez. “The Coronavirus Relief Fund will allow the Navajo Nation general fund to be held in abeyance while federal funds are used. Navajo Nation leaders and chapter officials should adhere to this wise Navajo teaching. We cannot have meetings for the sake of unplanned and unwise spending. The Executive Branch will provide a comprehensive plan for the effective use of these stimulus funds.”

“We have a long way to go to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. I am happy that we have a solid team in place preparing for the day when our communities can come back stronger and healthier. We will get there together through unity, resilience, and prayer. We will get there sooner if we obey the social distancing guidelines and curfews. The less we travel or intermingle, the better our chances to overcome this virus. We lost many of our beloved relatives and family members to this virus, but our teachings also tells us to move forward. We will and we are.” President Nez said.

Navajo Nation: 85 new cases and 79 deaths

The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 85 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation and a total of 79 deaths as of Tuesday. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 2,559. A total of 15,651 COVID-19 tests have been administered with 11,609 negative test results.

The 2,559 confirmed positive cases on the Navajo Nation include the following counties: McKinley County, NM: 705; Apache County, AZ: 622; Navajo County, AZ: 556; Coconino County, AZ: 296; San Juan County, NM: 261; San Juan County, UT: 45; Socorro County, NM: 25; Cibola County, NM: 25; Bernalillo County: 3 and Sandoval County, NM: 21

On Tuesday, the Office of the President and Vice President continued distributing food, water, and other supplies to 236 Navajo families in the communities of Crystal, N.M. and Sawmill, Ariz. Precautions were taken as items were placed in vehicles by staff members with no direct contact with the local residents. They also delivered diapers, toys, and other supplies to the Hogan Hozhoni children’s home in St. Michaels, Ariz.

“As of Tuesday, the Navajo Nation through its official donation website has received $2.1 million in monetary contributions so far. These funds are being used to directly benefit the most in need of food and other necessities. We are working with Community Health Representatives at the local levels to identify elders and high-risk residents that need it the most. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their own resources to help this cause. We pray that you are blessed many times in return. Together, we will overcome COVID-19,” said Vice President Myron Lizer.

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

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