Everything shut down except construction projects. New Mexico’s governor warns tribal nations could be ‘wiped out’ by coronavirus.

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers the Keystone XL and Coastal GasLink pipelines posed to native people’s health. Pandemic and the pipeline about the Coastal GasLink pipeline construction in British Columbia. It’s like bringing smallpox blankets in about the Keystone XL pipeline construction.

The mancamps of pipeline construction workers not only pose the threat of bringing COVID-19 to the native and non native people near the construction sites, but in addition bring the risk of the violence and death of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham raised alarms with President Donald Trump Monday about “incredible spikes” in coronavirus cases in Navajo Nation, warning that the virus could “wipe out” some tribal nations, according to a recording of a call between Trump and the nation’s governors obtained by ABC News.

“I’m very worried, Mr. President,” Governor Lujan Grisham said, as she followed up on a request she made to the Department of Defense last Wednesday for a 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital (CSH) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Grisham told Trump she had not yet received a response.

“We’re seeing incredible spikes in the Navajo Nation, and this is going to be an issue where we’re going to have to figure that out and think about maybe testing and surveillance opportunities,” Grisham said.

“The rate of infection, at least on the New Mexico side — although we’ve got several Arizona residents in our hospitals — we’re seeing a much higher hospital rate, a much younger hospital rate, a much quicker go-right-to-the-vent rate for this population. And we’re seeing doubling in every day-and-a-half,” she said.

As of Sunday, there were at least 128 cases and 2 deaths reported on the reservation, which has a population of over 250,000 and spans three states, according to the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service.

New Mexico’s governor warns tribal nations could be ‘wiped out’ by coronavirus. “I’m very worried, Mr. President,” Grisham said on a call with Trump Monday. By Katherine Faulders and Olivia Rubin, ABC News, March 30, 2020

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Major construction projects moving forward along the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are raising fears the coronavirus could race through temporary work camps and spread to rural communities unable to handle an outbreak.

Despite a clampdown on people’s movements in much of the country, groups of workers travel every day from camps in New Mexico to build President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Along the northern border, a Canadian company says it will start work this month on the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, another Trump-supported project that could bring thousands of workers to rural communities in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Residents, tribal leaders and state officials have warned that the influx of outsiders could make problems worse in rural areas with little or no medical infrastructure capable of dealing with a surge of infections. The border wall and pipeline are exempt from stay-at-home restrictions intended to reduce the virus’s spread.

That’s a fear in tiny Columbus, New Mexico, where residents worry about border wall workers who often gather outside the town’s few restaurants despite an order to stay home and keep away from others.

In the town of less than 1,500 people, about 30 construction workers are living in tightly packed trailers, residents say. Others are staying at two small hotels while they put up bollard-style fencing along the scrub desert — a small piece of about 200 miles (320 kilometers) of barrier being built at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Just south of the Canadian border, workers began arriving last month in the small Montana town of Glasgow where they’ll stay during the 1,200-mile (1,930-kilometer) pipeline project. Keystone would carry up to 830,000 barrels (35 million gallons) of crude daily to a Nebraska terminal for refining or export through the Gulf of Mexico.

With US border work on track, rural towns fear virus spread.
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