Cherokee Nation’s Standout Response

Overall, American Indian and Alaskan Native populations have COVID-19 case rates 3.5X higher than whites—but the breakdown is far from even.
With free drive-thru testing, mask mandates, and a “small army” of public health workers, Cherokee Nation has fared far better than other tribal areas and the US as a whole, STAT reports.
Navajo Nation—which has just entered another lockdown, NPR reports— has seen 13,000 cases and 602 deaths compared 4,000 cases and 33 deaths in Cherokee Nation, which has a similar population size.
The Cherokees’ success is no miracle. Already boasting the nation’s largest tribal health system, Cherokee health officials acted early, hosting twice-daily briefings and stockpiling PPE. Absent federal guidance, they proactively emulated WHO’s Ebola contact tracing strategy.
Crucially, the tribal governor respects public health professionals.
The Quote: “I feel I have several Dr. Faucis,” says Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. 

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