5-18-2020 Morning COVID-19 Brief


5-18-2020 Morning COVID-19 Brief

May 18, 2020

Coronavirus Relief Fund Forum with Treasury Department

  • Today at 3:30 PM EDT the U.S. Department of the Treasury will join NAFOA and NCAI for a forum discussion on the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).  
  • Treasury published Guidance to Tribes for Completing Supplemental Request for Information on May 14 which provided a framework for the additional data collection for the distribution of the remaining 40% of the $8 billion CRF. The requested information includes employment data for both tribal government and tribal enterprises for calendar year 2019 along with fiscal year 2019 tribal government expenditures. 
  • This discussion will be tailored toward understanding the information request, the requested documentation, and the process and timeline for distribution. This meeting is not open to the press. We ask each person to register for the forum here.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

  • The Small Business Administration released its Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application and instructions form for borrowers. As a word of caution to those tribes that have multiple entities under a single EIN, there may be additional outreach needed to ensure forgiveness. 
  • Application 

The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona release research critiquing the Round 1 allocations of federal CARES Act COVID-19 response funds

  • A team of researchers from Harvard, the University of Arizona and UCLA today released results of its study dissecting the US Department of the Treasury’s formula for distributing first-round CARES Act funds to Indian Country.  The Department has indicated that its formula is intended to allocate relief funds based on tribes’ populations, but the research team finds that Treasury has employed a population data series that produces arbitrary and capricious “over-” and “under-representations” of tribes’ enrolled citizens.
  • Results from the study


Virus heads upriver in Brazil Amazon, sickens native people
(Voice of America) 

AP Photo/Felipe Dana

The dwelling up the Solimoes and Negro rivers that merge in Manaus to form the Amazon River tried for weeks to seal their reserves off from the virus, pleading for donations while awaiting government deliveries of food so they could remain isolated. It didn't come for many, indigenous advocates said. 

The Upper Solimoes basin has 44 tribal reserves and has emerged as the Brazilian Amazon's indigenous infection hotspot. Testing is extremely limited, but shows that at least 162 of the area's approximately 76,000 indigenous people have been infected and 11 have died. There are more than 2,000 confirmed infections in parts of the area not overseen by the government's indigenous health care provider.

Korea reaches out to native Americans, Iran, Abkhazia with COVID-19 supplies (Korea Herald

The South Korean government and nonprofit organizations are offering quarantine and medical supplies to countries fighting the novel coronavirus in a bid to boost relations in challenging times. 

According to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs on Monday, the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee will deliver 10,000 face masks and other health protective items to the members of native American Navajo tribe who fought in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Currently, the native tribe suffers a higher per capita number of COVID-19 cases than citizens in other US states. With some 356,000 Navajo people residing in parts of four states, including Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Some 800 Navajo men participated in the Korean War seven decades ago and approximately 130 of them are alive.

Arizona coronavirus update: 13,937 confirmed cases, 680 known deaths as of Sunday (AZ Central

The number of confirmed cases reported each day has risen steadily over the past week as more testing has taken place.

Deaths have also spiked over the past week, although many occurred in previous weeks and are just being added to the system now because of reporting lags and a new death certificate surveillance process. The number of deaths reported each day represents the additional known deaths identified by the Health Department that day, but they are often not identified on the actual death date and could have occurred weeks prior.

Of the statewide identified cases overall, 47% are men and 53% are women. But men made up a higher percentage of deaths, with 55% of the deaths men and 45% women as of Sunday.