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Jill Biden Returns To Navajo Nation Amid COVID-19 Vaccination Effort

AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File

First lady Jill Biden arrives on the Navajo Nation today as part of a trip to the Southwest. It’s her third visit to the reservation and comes as the tribe has aggressively administered COVID-19 vaccinations to residents. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.




Biden will meet with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and others in the tribal capital of Window Rock today before visiting a grade school and COVID-19 vaccination site Friday. She’ll also deliver a radio address and hold a discussion with Navajo women leaders, business owners, educators and advocates.

Biden’s two-day tour of the reservation comes as the White House ramps up vaccination efforts throughout the country. The Navajo Nation is outpacing the U.S. as a whole in administering doses. According to the tribe’s health department, about 91,000 residents – more than half the reservation’s population – have been fully vaccinated.

Last year, the tribe had the highest rate of COVID infections in the country but cases have dramatically flattened in recent months.

Earlier this week, Biden traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., where she visited a health care clinic with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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