New Mexico governor says state faces 'unique challenges' responding to COVID-19 in Native American communities

New Mexico governor says state faces 'unique challenges' responding to COVID-19 in Native American communities
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamCindy McCain joins board of Biden's presidential transition team Biden pick creates furor, underscoring bitterness over Obama immigration policy Buttigieg, former officials added to Biden's transition team MORE (D) said her state is facing unique challenges posed by responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Native American communities. 

The governor said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that as of a couple of days ago, 25 percent of New Mexico's positive COVID-19 cases were Native American. 

“Some of these areas, particularly in Navajo nation, you're in a situation where you've got folks living without access to water and electricity and this creates unique challenges,” Lujan Grisham said. 

Six percent of New Mexico’s population is Native American with 23 distinct sovereign nations, she said. 

Utah, Arizona and New Mexico are looking at a regional strategy to support the leadership of the Navajo nation, she said.

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Part of the support included putting out field hospitals and triage centers. 

To support the Pueblo nation in New Mexico, she said roadblocks have been put in place that limits people coming in and out, and food has been delivered through the national guard. 

“We hope this not only slows the spread but gives us better support to the individuals living in these  remote areas in New Mexico,” she said.

New Mexico’s health department has reported 1,174 positive COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths.