Pres. Biden Signs Emergency Declaration For Navajo Nation

Feb 3, 2021

Pres. Joe Biden has signed a major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation to assist the tribe in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monument Valley and many other areas of the Navajo Nation remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit AP, file

Navajo officials had requested the declaration in December under the Trump administration. It will make more medical staff and other resources available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with reimbursement funds as the tribe has grappled with high numbers of infections.

Navajo leaders met with White House officials last weekend to request more doses of COVID vaccines and other federal assistance.

Meanwhile, Navajo Nation health officials Tuesday reported 82 new known cases of COVID and 12 more deaths. The tribe is warning residents to avoid travel and in-person gatherings as variants of the virus could be circulating on the reservation.

Navajo officials have administered nearly 54,000 doses of COVID vaccines and want to nearly double that amount by the end of the month. More than 28,000 people on the Navajo Nation have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic and 1,032 have died.