Things That Matter

Doctors Without Borders Has Deployed To The U.S. For The First Time Ever Because The Government Is Failing Native Tribes

Doctors Without Borders is probably best known for sending its team of medical professionals into harms way. The organization has teams stationed in international conflict zones across Afghanistan, Iran, Sierra Leone, Venezuela, and more than 66 other countries. However, the organization has now sent a team of doctors to the U.S. for the first time in its history to help the Navajo Nation.

Native American tribes have long been neglected by the federal government – and it’s not been any different during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Navajo Nation, lacking proper funding and resources, has become a major hotspot for the virus in the U.S.

For the first time in its history, Doctors Without Borders is operating in the U.S.

Jean Stowell, head of the organization’s U.S. COVID-19 Response Team, told CBS News that a team of nine had been sent to the hard-hit Navajo Nation to help combat the growing crisis there. The team consists of two physicians, three nurses, a water sanitation specialist, two logisticians and a health promoter who specializes in community health education.

“There are many situations in which we do not intervene in the United States, but this has a particular risk profile,” Stowell said.

One in three people in the Navajo Nation are estimated to not have access to running water, and because not much grows in the area, communities are heavily dependent on outside help for food.

Stowell also pointed out that Native American communities are already at a much higher risk for complications from Covid-19 because they don’t have access to the variety of things that make it possible to self-isolate. She added: “You can’t expect people to isolate if they have to drive 100 miles to get food and water.” 

The Navajo Nation now has the highest per capita rate of Coronavirus infection in the U.S.

Credit: Kristin Murphy / Getty

The Navajo Nation, which spreads across large swaths of Arizona and New Mexico, is home to about 170,000 people. And the tribe now has more coronavirus cases per capita than any state in the U.S. with about 1,786 cases per 100,000 people. It also has a shortage of medical professionals, and its people have high rates of diabetes and hypertension, which can make them more vulnerable to the virus.

The Washington Post reported that as of Sunday, the largest tribe in the U.S. now has upwards of 3,122 cases of Covid-19 in the area, and more than 100 people have died.

Many in the tribe are particularly worried about the elders of Navajo Nation because they are at high risk for COVID-19 and in charge of preserving the tribe’s language and culture. And due to a shortage in nursing and specialized medical staff, the most critical patients have to be airlifted to hospitals outside of the reservation. 

Doctors Without Borders is stepping in to help, where the U.S. federal government has failed.

Credit: Kristin Murphy / Getty

Although the CARES Act, which President Trump signed into law on March 27, allocated $8 billion in relief funding to tribes across the country, it’s seen as too little too late by many.

Meanwhile, the infrastructure in place is so weak that volunteers have had to step in to distribute much-needed supplies.

The Doctors Without Borders team is planning on staying in the area until at least the end of June, but the teams says that they are able to stay longer if the situation continues to badly affect the communities.

“When we’re looking at the epidemiologic curves from the rest of the world, we know that this is a long haul,” Stowell told CBS News.

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As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

Things That Matter

As The U.S. Expands Vaccine Eligibility Here’s What You Need To Know

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Starting today, everyone 16 and older can get in line for the Coronavirus vaccine. This is a huge milestone that has been months in the making after a very ambitious plan by the Biden administration.

But with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, many have been wondering what the vaccine program will look like – especially since nearly everyone is now eligible to receive a shot in the arm.

As of Monday, anyone 16 and over is technically eligible to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday, every state in the U.S. expanded its vaccine eligibility to include all adults over the age of 16, meeting President Biden’s deadline which he established two weeks ago.

The country is now administering 3.2 million doses a day on average, and half of all adults have now received at least one dose. Additionally, 84.3 million people have now been fully vaccinated against the disease. These are truly encouraging figures in the fight against the pandemic but a lot of uncertainty remains.

Ok but can I get a shot?

Technically, yes, anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for the vaccine but your access to it really varies from state to state.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., were the last to open up eligibility on Monday, after other states expanded access to the general public over the past month.

If the country’s present vaccination rate continues, 70% of the total U.S. population could be vaccinated by June 17 and 90% by July 25, the New York Times has projected. That timeline will likely depend on what happens with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, as distribution is now paused following reports of blood clots, despite being statistically extremely rare.

So, what’s going on with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

On Sunday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said that he believed the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will likely be lifted on Friday. During interviews on talk shows, Fauci stated that he expected federal health officials to decide on the vaccine’s future by the end of the week and that he did not anticipate the vaccine being permanently banned.

One alternative to banning is to limit who is able to receive the one dose shot, perhaps limiting it to males over the age of 50. This is how Europe adjusted its strategy following similar blood clotting issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was created using similar methods.

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Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Entertainment

Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

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It’s 2021 and the Met Gala is back this year – after being canceled in 2020 thanks to a pandemic – with superstar poet Amanda Gorman being eyed to host the fashion event of the year. Given the 23-year-old’s show-stopping performance at the inauguration, the theme fittingly will be a celebration of America and American designers.

The Met Gala will return in 2021 with a very special guest as host.

Vogue’s “Oscars of Fashion” famously takes place on the first Monday of May. However, this year it’s been pushed back to September 13, in hopes that life will have returned to something closer to normal by then.

Epic poet Amanda Gorman is reportedly in talks to co-host the event alongside Tom Ford, who is the academy’s president. The breakout star of President Biden’s inauguration, Gorman is on the cover of the magazine’s May issue and the subject of a relentlessly glowing profile inside.

The black-tie gala, which raises funds for Met’s Costume Institute, is normally fashion’s biggest night and sees guests from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and even Maluma.

The event was canceled in 2020 thanks to a global pandemic.

The world’s most glamorous party was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19, which was (and still is) raging the planet at the time. There was a virtual event in place of the 2020 event, with celebs like Julia Roberts, Priyanka Chopra and Amanda Seyfried showing off their looks from home and stars like Mindy Kaling and Adam Rippon taking part in the #MetGalaChallenge, recreating looks from past years.

This year’s event will draw inspiration from all things USA.

The theme of this year’s Met Gala has not been announced, but Page Six says the night will be devoted to honoring America and American designers, following the 18-month-long COVID crisis in this country.

Recent past themes for the event have included “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017). And don’t forget 2016, when Zayn Malik wore robot-arms to Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.

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