Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day As COVID Rages

Oct 12, 2020

By Dr. Bill Honigman and Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team Team


Racism and COVID-19 Rage on. 
Join Healthcare Town Hall Sun. Oct. 18, 4pm ET/1pm PT

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue….” Thus began five centuries of intimidation, genocide, dehumanization, disregard, and disenfranchisement of Native American peoples.

Today PDA joins 14 states and more than 130 cities in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day today as a time for greater cultural awareness and the recognition of obstacles to Native American individuals and communities.

Official bureaucratic negligence compounded by systemic racism throughout Indian Country has left social safety nets in tatters and blockaded avenues for advancement within traditional cultural settings. Higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes couple with high suicide rates to make the life expectancy of Native Americans 5.5 years less than the overall population of the U.S. Unemployment in reservation communities exacerbates poverty that in turn aggravates disparities in health care and medical services. We need the Green New Deal and Medicare For All to begin a revitalizing process for our brothers and sisters in the 574 federally recognized tribes and dozens of state-recognized tribes.  

This community also has COVID-19 infection and death rates radically higher than the general population as a whole, and we must address this injustice.

Meanwhile, the world is up another 2,200,000 known cases of the novel coronavirus #COVID19 to over 37 million now. And despite his having been able to easily prevent himself from becoming a victim of the disease by following some normal public health non-pharmacological measures, U.S. President Donald Trump contracted COVID19, then praised God and the best drugs known to humankind for his complete recovery.

At the same time, news outlets are reporting significant surges in cases that have Emergency Room physicians stating concerns of the apparent arrival of the pandemic’s dreaded second wave here in the US. And, contrary to what the Fox News messaging machine might say, this is not fear mongering, precisely because this is not trivial or insignificant.

That’s why it’s past time we shift this paradigm, first by voting out this cruel and inhuman bunch of Trumpublicans, and then by pushing for what we all know that we need now more than ever, #MedicareForAll and the #GreenNewDeal.

Please join us for our next Healthcare Emergency Town Hall Sunday, Oct. 18 at 4pm ET/1pm PT (RSVP to receive secure link here).  Can’t make the town hall but want to help?  Let us know

In the meantime, please support our efforts to help these PDA-endorsed candidates who “get” how MFA will save money and save lives.  

Finally, please support PDA with any donation that you can give for this ongoing work.

Thanks again and onward!!


PS: In case you missed it, here’s the recording of 10/11 Healthcare Emergency Town Hall.