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Posted: August 27, 2020

August 26, 2020

Biden for President Responds to Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer’s Remarks at the Republican National Convention

Today, Biden for President released a statement responding to misleading claims made by Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer last night at the Republican National Convention. In his remarks, Lizer touted Donald Trump’s recent attempts to paper over his failed leadership with Native communities. But Trump’s empty and careless gestures have left Navajo Nation underfunded against the COVID-19 pandemic, and hurt thousands of Native businesses and employees.

“No speech can change the fact that Donald Trump has horribly failed the Navajo Nation and our tribal communities. Last night’s speech was a disgraceful insult to Navajo Nation and was disconnected from the realities we face. We didn’t receive critical CARES Act funding until after we went to court, and many Navajo people still lost their lives and jobs. We know that Donald Trump isn’t on our side, and we will be proud to support Joe Biden this fall as our next President because he will uphold the U.S.’s trust and treaty obligations – including to provide health services to Native Americans — and help foster tribal sovereignty and prosperity.” said Glenmore Begaye, a Navajo Nation small business owner and Vietnam War veteran.

Earlier this year, the Navajo Nation was one of COVID-19’s hardest hit areas in the country, with infections and death rates among the highest in the U.S. on a per capita basis. In the CARES Act, Congress directed $8 billion in emergency relief to tribal governments. But President Trump withheld the funds for more than a month after the deadline set by Congress, and even longer to deliver the funds in full, despite multiple pleas to deliver the aid from President Jonathan Nez and members of Congress.

Even when funds were eventually disbursed, tribal government leaders said the support was “woefully inadequate,” to meet the dire needs in tribal communities — too little, too late.

Trump’s 4-year poor record in Native communities was raised in a Biden for Presidentevent with Native American business leaders last month. Rep. Raúl Grijalva and the campaign’s director of tribal engagement Clara Pratte promoted Joe Biden’s plans to partner with tribal communities, expand economic and community development, and invest in infrastructure in Indian Country.

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