COVID-19 in tribal communities in New Mexico

Acoma Gov. Brian Vallo discusses struggles in his community as local hospital functions are reduced amid surging numbers.
6:12 | 11/17/20

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Transcript for COVID-19 in tribal communities in New Mexico
And that a New Mexico where nonessential businesses went into a two week shutdown yesterday each native communities in the state have been disproportionately. Affected by Kobe with higher rates there and yesterday he health care services were shut down at a hospital serving about 9000 indigenous people she and a couple of optima. I commend governor Brian bio joins me now for more on the region's fight against the pandemic governor. Good afternoon to you thanks for being here you know the Indian Health Service suspended inpatient critical bench. At emergency room services ear regional hospital because of staffing shortages. Could impact the ability to treat cold medications in your community. Globe disclosure has had a devastating effect. This is certainly alien critter day life and death situation are our community. Because of the shortage isn't. He's service units and ability to. Buy these critical care services of an individual. Crew. Is experiencing symptoms of cobra. And or falls ill well in Orange Sheen from all over. How to become. Bearish. Trading limit certain time. Who basically 8 AM until or. In the afternoon. Outside. Are tribal members are forced should Dryden sixty. East should the city of all she threw a medical care services. On the other option organizational town west of us and grounds New Mexico. By. Took I don't care facility. Is already. Maximum capacity. It is a dire situation and what's the threat. The services that we can. Completely. Discontinued. Is that something that we are all very concerned well. The I had justice has sent a Dayton there's just not enough staff to staff this as a actual running hospitals so what's to fix here what do you need from. We have been and direct contact with the Indian Health Service orders and Washington DC. As well as the regional headquarters Shearer and L version in Mexico. Have been staging these answers. Seizing the opportunities. Consultation. With the Indian Health Service is triggered a situation now. The Indian health services is the trust these issues my tribes and tribes across the country. For whatever reason there is a reluctance of the Indian Health Service why the funding should maintain. These operations. Your health services is known about the challenges that exist share with our typical hospital where funding is concerned. However they have not conducted any meaningful consultations were all. We didn't continue to wait for answers. Are from the Indian health services. You know are are prepared to have these conversations with the Indian health services and other federal agencies as well as the state of New Mexico who I will say governor missile on Grisham has been very supportive and is where Sheehan and what's sure to address the situation. It really really feels when it comes down Syria commitment of this federal trustee. A mega commitment to provide financial resources. And through engaged. All of their resources. In terms of medical providers. This risk units of these critical services and this channel will conduct. Are provided that you not only our people but to other users of the hospital. And CDC and data currently shows that black Hispanic or native American people infected with code in nineteen. Are about four times more likely to be hospitalized. And others from your experience why do you think that is. Well I don't know communities unfortunately we have populations of people. Screwed up underlying medical conditions. Diabetes runs rampant throughout native American communities around the country or disease. Smile. And these conditions as you know hum our. You don't create a dangerous loan situations were obese people. And and so as a result of these underlying conditions. Just our you know so some limits and axles health care services. Throughout Indian Country. We are at great risk and we are seeing the B in this way unfortunately. In my own community just a few minutes ago I was informed that we have had another death in the community drizzle over the you know we unfortunately in this very dire situation. And I will say about. You know it did. We should not deal with cheese those situations. The situation along. We look to the status agreements we look to the department of hell. Com and other resources. And also our own ego and dependence upon. The federal government or lose the ongoing assistance. Column well we're health care and other services. Are concerned. Oh you know yeah because of the student the impasse over the you know what's it and tribal nations throughout this country. You know it and it's and then Tuesday. You know a state of emergency. Stage of life and death. Oh and it's shorter than those very reasons. I've mentioned. Clock from the governor Brian bio and we know that you're busy we appreciate you. Coming I wanted to tell your story wishing you and your community the best of luck in dealing with this thank you. It.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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