Tester Announces Nearly $900,000 for Tribal Coronavirus Response
Senator: “I will keep fighting to make sure Washington lives up to its trust and treaty responsibilities to Native American communities”
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced three grants have been awarded to Tribal health care providers to help Native American communities in Montana respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The grants, which Tester secured as part of the Rural Tribal COVID-19 Response program that he fought to include the CARES Act, will benefit the Bighorn Valley Health Center in Hardin, the Rocky Boy Health Board in Box Elder, and the Blackfeet Tribe in Browning. These funds were originally left out of Senator Mitch McConnell’s pandemic response package.
“Tribal communities remain among the most at-risk for this disease, and it is critical we make sure they have the resources they need to confront the ongoing crisis,” Tester said. “These funds will help keep folks in Indian Country safe, and I will keep fighting to make sure Washington lives up to its trust and treaty responsibilities to Native American communities, and ensure they have the resources they need to stay healthy during this uncertain time.”
The following Tribal health care providers received grants based on need and capacity to implement COVID-19 response activities:
- Bighorn Valley Health Center (Hardin): $300,000
- Rocky Boy Health Board (Box Elder): $292,916
- Blackfeet Tribe (Browning): $300,000
Tester has led the charge to make sure Native American communities are not left out of the COVID-19 response. He called on the Trump Administration to engage with Tribal leaders to make sure that the CARES Act resources are directed quickly to where they are most needed, and that the federal government lives up to its trust and treaty responsibilities. Tester also demanded U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar release $80 million Congress appropriated as a part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act after a nearly two week delay, and has pressed the Administration to work with Native American communities and Tribal leaders in coordinating their response to the outbreak.