At the beginning of the week, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham discussed the issues they are having in the state. She said there were “incredible spikes” in COVID-19 cases.
The Navajo Nation is facing major problems that cannot be ignored. Governor Grisham told the President the virus can “wipe out” the tribal nations on the reservations.
The New Mexico governor told President Trump she made a request to the Department of Defense last week that her state could receive a 248-bed US Army combat support hospital. The CSH would be set up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In the original request from Governor Grisham, she wrote, “The US Army hospital is urgently needed to support the State of New Mexico’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to overwhelm our existing medical treatment facilities and resources.”
Grisham continued to express her concerns to the President, saying, “I am very worried, Mr. President.” It has been almost a week, and she still has not heard any news back from her request.
Grisham said, “We’re seeing incredible spikes in the Navajo Nation, and this is going to be an issue where we’re going to have to figure that out and think about maybe testing and surveillance opportunities.”
The governor added, “The rate of infection, at least on the New Mexico side, although we’ve got several Arizona residents in our hospitals, we’re seeing a much higher hospital rate, a much younger hospital rate, a much quicker go-right-to-the-vent rate for this population. And we’re seeing doubling in every day-and-a-half. And it could wipe out those tribal nations.”
President Trump listened carefully to the governor’s request and concerns and assured her they are doing all they can, and he will deal with her request as he was going into the Situation Room.
Trump replied, “Wow, that’s something. We’re gonna get you that hospital as quickly as we can. Boy, that’s too bad for the Navajo Nation. I’ve been hearing that.”
According to the Navajo Area Indian Health Service and the Navajo Department of Health, there were 2 deaths and 128 confirmed cases on the reservation. The Navajo Reservation holds over 250,000 Native Americans and covers three states.
New reports came in as of Sunday, and the numbers are following the same pattern within the reservation as it is in the US. Every location which comes up with the COVID-19 cases quadruples every other two or three days.
The origin of the spread among the Navajo Nation seems to have started at a March 7 evangelical church rally in Chilchinbeto, Arizona. According to the Los Angeles Times report, it stated there were two so far that have died from the virus.
One week later, a state of emergency was declared by the Navajo Nation government on March 13. As of March 20, they added a Shelter in Place order for everyone on the reservation.
The order stated, “In a short period of time, COVID-19 has arrived on the Navajo Nation, and the number of cases is increasing at a high rate across the Nation. The purpose of the closure is to allow the Navajo Nation as a whole to isolate and quarantine.”
Across every state, the timely response from President Trump and the federal government has been amazing. Some do not appreciate it and say it is a slow process and response. Usually, by the time a governor or a state official responds for an update, the requested items, equipment, or hospitals are on the way.
There have been no delays or playing around when it comes to America pulling together. When the Trump administration and the President himself says, “We are all in this together.” We really are.
COVID-19 is not playing around either. It is claiming the lives of men, women, children, all races, and ethnic groups. It is not holding back in its fury. This is something that has made its way entirely around the world and caused nothing but chaos and confusion.
Not to mention, the media and the Democrats have not helped in the situation by politicizing everything about the virus. It seems as though they are not as much on the rampage. People are seeing them for what they truly are, and we all share the same worry and concern.
There is no doubt the Navajo Nation will receive the help they so desperately need along with the rest of the country. We hold these words close, “We are all in this together.”