Murthy: $4B to help Native tribes fight COVID-19

The White House says Native American tribes are getting more than $4 billion as a result of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief legislation. The money will help get more people vaccinated, as well as improve testing and contact tracing.(April 16)

Video Transcript

VIVEK MURTHY: Today the Biden administration is doubling down on this critical work with a $4 billion investment from the American Rescue Plan to the Indian Health Service, tribal and urban Indian health programs. Specifically these funds will support the following, expanded COVID-19 vaccinations, including mobile efforts, large-scale vaccination events, and public education and outreach campaigns; expanded testing, contact tracing, PPE access, and treatment; increased preventive health services for those at higher risk for COVID-19; and increased support for telehealth, the health care workforce, and the broader Indian health care system, which has been a hard hit during the pandemic due to lost reimbursements for care from both public and private insurance.

Overall, we're committed to reducing health disparities and ensuring equity in our response to COVID-19. And today's funding announcement is part of a broader commitment to increase access to vaccines and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in hard-hit communities. Additionally, I want to emphasize one point in particular about vaccines, which isn't always so obvious. And that's the following. Increasing access to vaccines is critical for increasing confidence in vaccines.