The COVID-19 virus in New York and New Jersey has been severe, with cases per capita reaching the highest in the country in these two states. However, just below in cases per capita are Native American reservations, where COVID-19 is hitting the Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation communities particularly hard.
As of May 25, there have been nearly 5,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation land since the middle of March, with the death toll reaching 157. That’s a per capita case rate of over 2,500 per 100,000 people – one of the highest in the U.S.
What’s making the virus even more severe is that Native Americans aren’t receiving the same levels of assistance as other states in the country. Federal aid is almost non-existent, even as vital businesses within reservations are closed. Since the end of April, COVID-19 data on reservations has also been left out of the country’s federal data collection.
Choctaw Nation and Navajo Nation have been forced to resort to GoFundMe campaigns for monetary assistance, and donations have come from private citizens across the world.