Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 21, 2021

Navajo Nation Cease and Desist Order to Agile Technologies: Halt Unauthorized COVID-19 Tests

Photo: First Lady Jill Biden speaks in the Navajo Capitol at Window Rock, Arizona.  Agile Technologies says it was contracted to provide COVID-19 services during Biden's visit in April. The Navajo Nation says the contract, and methods, were never authorized. Photo credit Office of Navajo President.

Navajo Nation issues cease and desist order to company administering unauthorized COVID-19 tests, as new questions arise over the secret negotiations to purchase Remington Arms

Article by Brenda Norrell

Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona -- The Navajo Nation sent the following cease and desist order to Agile Technologies, which is administering unauthorized types of coronavirus tests to Navajos.

Navajo Attorney General Doreen McPaul states a sole source contract from the Navajo Nation was unauthorized and has expired.

Agile Technologies is not a health care provider, but has continued to operate illegally on the Navajo Nation, after the unauthorized contract expired on Dec. 30, 2020.

Agile is administering rapid antigen and antibody tests, which are not approved by the CDC.

Agile has rented space at the Navajo Shopping Center and has continued to administer these unauthorized COVID-19 tests. It is misleading the public into believing it is operating on behalf of the Navajo Nation, according to the cease and desist order.

The emergency sole source contract was issued for services to the controller and her family. However, Agile then began testing other tribal employees and the public, the order states.

Further, the company distributed "bipolar ionized necklaces," watch-like wearables to monitor body functions, and used "ionization" to disinfect 10 tribal buildings, according to Agile's marketing campaign published on Yahoo News.

Agile's marketing campaign states it provided COVID-19 services during First Lady Jill Biden's visit to the Navajo Nation in April.

In the cease and desist order, the Navajo Nation said the company's handling of blood samples and disposal of medical waste is also endangering safety.

The controller was removed as a result of the contract for $3 million. The contract funding is from the tribe's $714 million in CARES Act funds.

The sole source contract to Agile Technologies, based in Chicago, has led to new questions. Navajos now question secret negotiations of the Navajo government to purchase the bankrupt Remington Arms for $300 million.

The secret negotiations were exposed by New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other media. It was the second time that the purchase of Remington was considered.

In June of 2020 -- when the $300 million Remington purchase was being negotiated -- the number of Navajos dying from the coronavirus was increasing.

Dine' elderly and isolated families were often desperate for food, water and home health care. Non-profits and volunteers were raising their own funds and meeting some needs, but many Dine' remained desperate.

Ultimately the Navajo Nation decided not to purchase Remington. The high risk factors incuded lawsuits over mass shootings with automatic weapons.

Remington was ultimately sold for $155  million, far less than the $300 million that the Navajo Nation considered paying for it.

Update: Documents obtained by Censored News show Remington Arms negotiations and the Agile Technologies contract are both now part of a criminal probe by the Navajo Nation.


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