Graham Offers Samaritan Purse Services To Hard Hit Navajo Nation

“The curve is flattening on the Navajo Nation"

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer with Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan's Purse, standing in front of Window Rock at the Navajo Code Talkers Memorial. [Photo via Navajo Nation Twitter]

WINDOW ROCK – On Monday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer met with Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse, to discuss the needs of Nation, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Graham offered the assistance of Samaritan’s Purse if needed.

Graham was joined by his son Edward and Dr. Elliott Tenpenny of Samaritan’s Purse.

In early April, Samaritan’s Purse opened an Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park adjacent to The Mount Sinai Hospital, the main facility of the Mount Sinai Health System to provide additional specialized care for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the surge of cases had reached manageable levels, the organization began dismantling the hospital

According to the organization’s website, Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization that provides aid to people in physical need as a key part of its Christian missionary work. The organization’s president is Graham, son of Christian evangelist Billy Graham.

Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries. Their international headquarters are in Boone, North Carolina, with additional U.S. facilities in Charlotte and North Wilkesboro, N.C. Affiliate offices are in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Field offices are also located in around 20 countries across five continents, according to the organization.

President Nez issued a stay-at-home order in March and has instituted curfews in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.

President Nez announced on Monday that the “Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 105 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation. The total number of deaths has reached 157 as of Monday. Preliminary reports from eight health care facilities indicate that approximately 1,491 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, with more reports still pending. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,794.”

“The curve is flattening on the Navajo Nation, even as we test aggressively. 14.6-percent of our citizens have been tested so far. The Navajo Nation continues to test at a higher rate per capita than any state in the country. Testing, contact tracing, and the public health orders that were implemented months ago requiring protective masks in public and weekend lockdowns are working and flattening the curve. When you look at the projections that were provided in March and compare them to numbers that we have, we are actually doing much better than the projections,” said Nez.

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