Tags: native americans | seattle | coronavirus

Native American Health Center Asked For Medical Supplies, Got Body Bags

a green body bag is shown
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2020 01:59 PM

During the worst part of the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle in March, a community health center serving the area's Native American population pleaded for more medical supplies and was shocked when some three weeks later it instead received an order of body bags, NBC News reported on Wednesday.

"My team turned ghost white," Seattle Indian Health Board CEO Esther Lucero said. "We asked for tests, and they sent us a box of body bags."

Although the mistake was an unintentional mixup, the center’s chief research officer Abigail Echo-Hawk told NBC News that the error is “a metaphor for what's happening” amid the pandemic.

“The Navajo Nation is in a crisis with cases, and there are tribes and other Indian organizations across the country that are in similar crises and can use medical supplies and help instead of watching people die,” she said.

Although the situation in the Seattle area has improved, if a second wave of the virus arrives, Echo-Hawk said she is worried the center won’t have the necessary supplies to carry out the needed coronavirus testing or get a hold of enough personal protective equipment

Echo-Hawk’s concern comes as the federal government announced on Tuesday that it will start distributing billions of dollars to Native American tribal governments in relief funds that were delayed due to a legal dispute for more than a month, but it remains unclear if this will be enough to significantly improve the situation.

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During the worst part of the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle in March, a community health center serving the area's Native American population pleaded for more medical supplies and was shocked when some three weeks later it instead received an order of body bags.
native americans, seattle, coronavirus
240
2020-59-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2020 01:59 PM
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