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Jill Biden Wraps Up Trip To Navajo Nation With School, Vaccination Site Visits

Press pool

First lady Jill Biden has wrapped up her two-day visit to the Navajo Nation. The reservation has a higher COVID-19 vaccination rate that most states after having the highest infection rate in the nation last year. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Biden met with teachers and students today at the Hunters Point Boarding School near Window Rock, where many safety upgrades have been made since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She later toured a nearby medical clinic and vaccination site.

Yesterday Biden heard from Navajo women leaders about the need to focus on families, language preservation and culture. In the evening the first lady delivered a radio address with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and other officials.

"Tribes will always have a voice in our administration. And we’re committed to honoring tribal sovereignty and strengthening our nation-to-nation relationship," said Biden during the outdoor address. 

Vaccination rates on the Navajo Nation are outpacing the U.S. with more than half of residents now fully inoculated. So far, more than 210,000 doses have been administered on the reservation.

This was Biden’s third visit to the Navajo Nation.

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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