Former White House Aide Got $3M Mask Contract To Supply Navajo Hospitals Days After Creating PPE Firm
Indian Health Services found that 247,000 of the masks supplied by the company of Zach Fuentes -- President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff -- are unusable while thousands more are not the correct type. The Navajo Nation has been extremely hard hit by the pandemic.
The Feds Gave A Former White House Official $3 Million To Supply Masks To Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work.
A former White House aide won a $3 million federal contract to supply respirator masks to Navajo Nation hospitals in New Mexico and Arizona 11 days after he created a company to sell personal protective equipment in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, secured the deal with the Indian Health Service with limited competitive bidding and no prior federal contracting experience. (Torbati and Willis, 5/22)
As Covid-19 Hits Navajo Nation, Young People Step Up To Protect Elders
Michelle Tom stared into the screen. The Navajo doctor had just finished a grueling shift at the Winslow Indian Health Care Center urgent care facility in Winslow, Ariz., caring for Covid-19 patients. Now, she was spending her Friday night speaking via livestream to Native American youth about the pandemic. “I’ve seen it hit everyone,” she said of the coronavirus. “But I have the strength of my ancestors, the strength of my prayers, and the strength of all of you. We have to keep talking about it, especially to our young people.” (Gable, 5/26)
Native Communities Have Been Hit Hard By COVID-19 — And Fear For Their Survival
Native communities in the U.S. have suffered disproportionately from COVID-19, with higher rates of infection and death. The Navajo Nation has implemented a series of strict lockdown measures in an effort to protect its population, but health care facilities have still been overwhelmed. In fact, tribes across the country see the pandemic as representing an existential threat. (Sy, 5/25)