PHOENIX, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and other Arizona tribal leaders recently joined U.S. First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff at Isaac Middle School in Phoenix, AZ to help increase COVID-19 vaccination rates throughout the state of Arizona, including tribal communities.
The visit is part of a nationwide campaign led by the Biden-Harris Administration to partner with healthcare professionals and elected leaders to encourage people to get fully vaccinated to reduce the spread of the virus. First Lady Biden recalled her recent visit to the Navajo Nation and recognized the tribal leaders in attendance including Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Terry Rambler, Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr., and Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Robert Miguel.
“I was in Arizona this past April to visit the Navajo Nation. Thank you, President Nez, for the warm welcome that you gave to me and for joining us today along with the tribal leadership represented by Chairman Norris, Chairman Manuel, Chairman Ramble, and Gov. Lewis. Thank you all for being here today,” said First Lady Biden, who also commended tribal nations for leading the country in vaccination rates.
The Navajo Nation has fully vaccinated close to 65-percent of individuals 12 years and older for COVID-19. President Nez, along with public health experts, continue to encourage Navajo Nation residents to get fully vaccinated to push back on the COVID-19 variants including the Delta variant, which was recently identified in the northern region of the Navajo Nation.
“We are in this together and by having First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, and Second Gentleman Emhoff with us today demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to fighting COVID-19 and overcoming the pandemic by listening to the healthcare experts,” said President Nez. “Our healthcare workers on the Navajo Nation are doing an outstanding job vaccinating our people, but we need to do more to reach our goal of herd immunity. I appreciate the White House leaders for living up to their commitment of having tribal leaders at the table for these important initiatives.”
First Lady Biden and Second Gentleman Emhoff visited several vaccine clinical sites in several states and thanked people for helping to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in their communities. According to the Arizona Department of Health, nearly half of the state’s eligible population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is below the national average.
“We have one case of the Delta variant confirmed on the Navajo Nation, but we have the ability to minimize its impact by getting vaccinated and taking precautions to keep ourselves safe and healthy,” said President Nez. “Remain strong, keep encouraging your loved ones, and keep praying for our Nation and frontline warriors.”