Washington, D.C. – Across the U.S., there are reports of disparities in COVID-19 outcomes. This is an issue the Energy and Commerce Committee takes seriously. Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) has called for a hearing on this, and E&C members recently received a bipartisan briefing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on this very topic. Sadly, tribal communities are seeing higher rates of infection and worse outcomes than other communities. The Washington Post recently reported that the Navajo Nation’s reservation is “becoming one of the worst-of-the-worst American hot spots.”
To help tribal communities with the challenges of COVID-19, the Trump administration, through congressional funding, has sent much-needed resources. This week, the administration showed its continued support of tribal communities by providing $15 million to assist with response efforts. This funding can be used to increase testing, buy personal protective equipment, and assist with labor costs for facilities in these communities.
Today’s announcement builds upon previous support the Trump administration has provided Indian Health Service (IHS) providers during the pandemic. Here’s a few recent examples:
- On April 22, $400 million was announced for IHS from the Provider Relief Fund.
- On May 18, IHS was awarded $750 million to boost COVID-19 testing.
- On May 22, the IHS and other tribal health centers received $500 million. At that time, total new funding for tribal health care was at $2.4 billion.
Click HERE for more on how the IHS is responding to COVID-19.
Additional COVID-19 Resources:
E&C Republicans COVID-19 page
CDC COVID-19 website