How Covid-19 Has Devastated the Navajo Nation
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FEATURING DR. SRIRAM SHAMASUNDER – While New York City is the nation’s coronavirus epicenter, not far behind is a region that has received little news attention: the Navajo Nation in Arizona has the third highest infection rate in the US. So far there have been nearly 3,000 infections and more than 70 deaths including that of 28-year old Valentina Blackhorse, a prominent figure in the community who had political aspirations.
The Navajo Nation is currently suing the federal government over the dispersal of financial relief to tribes. Just as African Americans are hardest hit by the pandemic due to the prevalence of long-term pre-existing health conditions, the native American community is struggling with the rapid spread of the disease.
Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and co-founder and faculty director of the HEAL Initiative, a health workforce strengthening fellowship working in Navajo Nation and 7 countries around the world.