Attempts by tribal leaders to obtain data from the U.S. federal government on coronavirus distribution were unsuccessful.
This is reported by the publication “Politico”.
Against the backdrop of the U.S. riots in support of the black population because of the murder of African-American policeman George Floyd, almost unnoticed is the desperate struggle of Indian tribes against the epidemic of the deadly virus. According to media reports, public health authorities are denying the Indians information about the spread of COVID-19 on their lands. With Native Americans no longer able to contain the epidemic, such actions by Washington are comparable to the passive genocide of the people.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have declined requests from tribal epidemiologists for the data they provide to the states. Authorities in Michigan and Massachusetts have also resisted transmission of information on tests and confirmed cases from early spring, citing confidentiality concerns, and have refused to enter into agreements with tribes on contact tracing or other types of surveillance”, – the media reported, citing eight tribal leaders.
The situation has led to the inability of indigenous peoples to monitor the spread of coronavirus, which is a serious blow to an already fragile domestic health system. Tribal authorities do not know where disease outbreaks occur, how many people are infected, where quarantine is imposed.
The media are drawing attention to the fact that tribal epidemiological centers were established to coordinate efforts with federal agencies. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act states that tribal centres are on an equal footing with state health departments and even with federal agencies. However, that did not prevent officials from questioning the importance of Indian agencies by denying them assistance.
According to APM research laboratory analysis, indigenous peoples had higher COVID-19 mortality rates than the rest of the population. In New Mexico, nearly 60 percent of Coronavirus deaths are caused by Indians, although they represent only 8.8 percent of the state’s population.