Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 10, 2022

Navajo Nation reports 242 new COVID cases in one day regardless of high vaccination rate -- January 9, 2022

On Christmas, and during January, Dine' volunteer Mercury Bitsuie, Uncle Andy Dann, family and friends delivered food and water to fellow Navajos. Although the Navajo government received $2 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds in May of 2021, eight months ago, the funds have not yet been distributed to Navajos in need. The Navajo government approved hardship payments in December, but the funds are yet to be distributed. -- Photo courtesy Mercury Bitsuie

Questions remain about COVID vaccine and treatment experiments on Navajos, as new COVID cases total 242 in one day on Sunday

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Jan. 9, 2022

The Navajo Nation has one of the highest rates of vaccinated adults in the US. The New York Times reported that 70 percent of Navajo adults are vaccinated.

Today, in one day, there were 242 new cases of coronavirus on the Navajo Nation.

Since March of 2020 and the first outbreak at a church gathering on the Navajo Nation, 1,593 Navajos have died as a result of coronavirus. 

Questions remains about vaccine and plasma treatment experiments 

Johns Hopkins, which headed up the Navajo Nation coronavirus team from the beginning, received $35 million from the US Pentagon to research COVID plasma infusions on Navajos.

Blood plasma from infected COVID patients was infused into Navajos with less severe cases. Johns Hopkins also used Navajos for Pfizer drug experiments for COVID.

Johns Hopkins has used Navajo and White Mountain Apache children for medical experiments into vaccines for the past 40 years, with little information being given to the public. Johns Hopkins uses IHS hospitals for its research. IHS told Censored News that IHS is not liable in the event of sickness or death as a result of Johns Hopkins medical experiments.

One of the questions raised was: "Why is the US Pentagon funding COVID research on Navajos?" The blood plasma infusions were controversial, according to this recent article in Science, yet few questioned the experiments conducted on Navajos.

Science reports in its article that the plasma infusions were controversial after the Trump administration approved emergency use.

"Convalescent plasma 'was pretty much done for” after disappointing results from previous clinical trials, says Frederick Korley, an emergency physician at the University of Michigan Medical School who was not involved in the new trial. Earlier this month, for example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended against its use in SARS-CoV-2–infected people with 'nonsevere” illness."
Navajo Nation Statement
Jan. 9, 2022

242 new cases, 40,000 recoveries, and no deaths related to COVID-19
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – On Sunday, the Navajo Department of Health, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, reported 242 new COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation and no deaths. The total number of deaths remains 1,593. The report indicates that 40,000 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 427,922 COVID-19 tests have been administered. The overall total number of positive COVID-19 cases is now 43,180, including 51 delayed reported cases.
Navajo Nation COVID-19 positive cases by Service Unit:
· Chinle Service Unit: 7,921
· Crownpoint Service Unit: 4,057
· Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 4880
· Gallup Service Unit: 7,136
· Kayenta Service Unit: 3,743
· Shiprock Service Unit: 7,629
· Tuba City Service Unit: 5,306
· Winslow Service Unit: 2,486
* 22 residences with COVID-19 positive cases are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit.
On Sunday, the state of Arizona reported 15,850 new cases. The states of Utah and New Mexico will report case numbers on Monday.
“The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the country and likely here on the Navajo Nation. There is only one confirmed case of the Omicron variant on the Navajo Nation, but our health officials continue to work with their partners to conduct sample sequencing to identify more possible cases.

About the author

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 40 years, beginning as a reporter at the Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She was a correspondent for AP and USA Today on the Navajo Nation. After serving as a longtime staff reporter at Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated in 2006 and created Censored News. She has a masters degree in international health, focused on infectious diseases, water and nutrition.

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