PHOTO CREDIT: Marsha Monestersky
While Trump downplays the rates of Covid deaths, it’s indigenous Americans who are paying the heaviest price. Native Americans are dying at a rate five times that of their white counterparts, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The disparities could be even higher, because in the first months of the pandemic states collecting data on Covid cases didn’t track Native Americans. The forms had a box for ‘White’, ‘African American’, ‘Asian’, ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Other’. Native Americans were simply forgotten.
“Many tribes were left to fend for themselves and we’ve gotten PPE to communities that hadn’t received anything”, says Roberto Mukaro Borrero, communications coordinator for the International Indian Treaty Council. In exchange for their lands, many tribes signed treaties that guaranteed healthcare and certain rights to ensure their well-being.