COVID-19 Has Continued the Cruel Legacy of Epidemic Disease for Native People

im电竞官网-Native American tribes face discrimination and worse outcomes.

native americans pray to call for justice during a demonstration over the killing of george floyd by a policeman outside the third police precinct on may 27, 2020 in minneapolis, minnesota   demonstrators gathered on may 27 for a second night of protests over the killing in the us city of minneapolis of a handcuffed black man by a policeman who held him to the ground with a knee on his neck as dusk fell, police formed a human barricade around the third precinct, where the officers accused of killing george floyd worked before they were fired on tuesday photo by kerem yucel  afp photo by kerem yucelafp via getty images
KEREM YUCELGetty Images

It has been widely reported that Native American communities have been struck hard by the pandemic. This should come as no surprise as Native American communities have been treated to the sharp end of the stick ever since the first European sails appeared on the far horizon. However, if you get into the details of this particular crisis, there is much that is completely and uniquely infuriating even by this country’s historical standards, which are considerable in this regard. For example, there's this story from the good people at :

Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque implemented a secretive policy in recent months to conduct special coronavirus screenings for pregnant women, based on whether they appeared to be Native American, even if they had no symptoms or were otherwise at low risk for the disease, according to clinicians.
The hospital screens all arriving patients for COVID-19 with temperature checks and asks them whether they’ve been in contact with people who have the illness. But for soon-to-be moms who appeared to be Native American, there was an additional step, according to clinicians interviewed on the condition they not be named.
Hospital staff would compare the expectant mother’s ZIP code against a list of Indian reservation ZIP codes maintained by the hospital, known informally as the “Pueblos List,” a reference to New Mexico’s Pueblo Indian tribes. If the pregnant woman’s ZIP code matched one on the list, she was designated as a “person under investigation” for COVID-19, the clinicians said.

The “Pueblos List.” Nice.

“This isn’t about where you live or if you live in a hot spot — it’s about whether someone thinks you look Native,” a clinician explained. “The only people for whom we’ve been told to check ZIP codes are patients who appear to be Native.”

This hospital seems very...ah...discriminating. It can be argued, I guess, that extraordinary measures might have to be taken during the pandemic, but they only make sense in the context of accurate information leading to equitable treatment, and here we run into another problem. From :

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states. Authorities in Michigan and Massachusetts since early spring have also resisted handing over information on testing and confirmed cases, citing privacy concerns, and refused to strike agreements with tribes on contact tracing or other surveillance, eight tribal leaders and health experts told POLITICO. In some instances, officials questioned tribes' legal standing as sovereign entities.

Oh, come on. Bad enough that certain...ahem...casino interests are still getting thrashed in court over their attempts to define what is a Native tribe and what is not. But to use that same argument to justify withholding medical information in the middle of a pandemic is simply bizarre.

The communication gaps threaten to hinder efforts to track the virus within Native populations that are more prone to illness, disability and early death and and have fragile health systems. Tribal authorities say without knowing who's sick and where, they can't impose lockdowns or other restrictions or organize contact tracing on tribal lands. The lack of data also is weighing on epidemiologists who track public health for the nearly three-quarters of Native Americans who live in urban areas and not on reservations.

There seems to me to be no little cognitive dissonance in the fact that we’re out there beheading Christopher Columbus statuesim电竞官网- and tossing them into various bodies of water and, meanwhile, certain institutions have adopted a variation on his theories of dealing with epidemic disease. It’s weird.

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