Indian Health Service does not have any coronavirus test kits. U.S. Senator Steve Daines called on Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar and the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor to ensure Indian Health Service (IHS) has the resources needed to provide coronavirus testing for tribal communities.
In a press release today Daines said, “I want to ensure IHS has the ability to provide the necessary healthcare to combat this virus as this remains a high priority to the administration and my office. I hope the Department will take swift action to bring test kits and federal resources to Indian Country.”
Senator Jon Tester is also pressing the issue. He sent a letter to Vice President Pence on March 5 calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to provide Tribes and urban Native communities with immediate access to COVID-19 resources and information. He and Governor Bullock also sent a separate letter to Billings area IHS Director Bryce Redgrave on March 11 seeking assurances that Little Shell members have access to all IHS facilities in the face of the outbreak.