PRESS RELEASE: Congress Announces $8.3 Billion for Coronavirus with Funding for Urban Indian Organizations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Meredith Raimondi, 202-417-7781, mraimondi@ncuih.org

NCUIH helped ensure Urban Indian Organizations were included in funding.

Washington, DC (March 4, 2020) - Today, Congress announced they have reached an $8.3 billion agreement for emergency supplemental appropriations to combat Coronavirus. The bill includes CDC funds totaling $2.2 billion which includes funding for cooperative agreements for “tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes, to carry out surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity, infection control mitigation, communications, and other preparedness and response activities.” The bill also included $40 million for tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes through the CDC.
 
This is a major victory for Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) as UIOs were missed in past emergency funding such as the Zika response efforts. This funding will assist in UIOs properly preparing to combat this outbreak for urban AI/ANs.
 
“NCUIH is glad to see Congress come together so quickly to provide the critical funding necessary to protect the health of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) patients across Indian Country,” said Francys Crevier, Executive Director “particularly to protect those AI/ANs who live within cities and urban areas, where the COVID-19 is spreading at a rapid pace."
 
On Friday, February 28, the National Council of Urban Indian Health sent a letter to Appropriations Chair Betty McCollum urging Congress to include UIOs in Coronavirus response efforts. NCUIH also issued a press release calling for Congress to support urban Indians in emergency supplemental funding. NCUIH has been working closely with the House and Senate on bill language to ensure the whole IHS I/T/U system is included in resources for coronavirus.
 
The House plans to vote today on the bill, with the Senate expected to pass the package on Thursday.
 
NCUIH will continue to monitor this legislation and the ongoing health risks to American Indian and Alaska Native patients and the urban Indian communities where they reside.

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By Meredith Raimondi, posted on Wednesday March 4, 2020
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