Sinema-Backed Bill Allows Tribal Communities in Arizona to Apply Directly for CDC Emergency Funding to Help Fight Coronavirus

May 11, 2020

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the CDC Tribal Public Health Security and Preparedness Act—legislation backed by the Navajo Nation, National Congress of American Indians, and National Council of Urban Indian Health that allows tribal communities in Arizona to apply for public health emergency preparedness funding directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Tribal communities across Arizona are battling outbreaks of the coronavirus and need every available resource. Allowing Tribes to apply directly for emergency funding will help save lives,” said Sinema.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit public health systems in Tribal communities particularly hard, as health care providers and first responders struggle to get necessary equipment. The CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program provides funding for states, territories, and some cities to increase the capacity and response timeliness of local public health entities during public health emergencies. Currently, Tribes are not eligible to apply to the program. Sinema’s bill allows Tribes to apply directly to the CDC PHEP program and authorizes the CDC to make modifications to the program to fit the needs of Tribal applicants. The bill also does not require Tribal applicants to match funds in order to participate in this program.
Sinema holds regular calls with Tribal leaders on the coronavirus outbreak in their communities and needed coronavirus relief. Sinema, along with a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers, urged the administration to swiftly implement the bipartisan CARES Act law and ensure resources are deployed quickly to support Tribal communities in Arizona. Sinema also asked the administration to make a stronger effort in consulting with Tribal Nations in order to truly reduce the spread of coronavirus throughout Arizona. Following Navajo Nation President Johnathan Nez’s request that the non-federal cost-share portion of the FEMA-Tribal Agreement be waived, Sinema urged the Director of FEMA to waive tribal governments’ portion of costs of FEMA’s coronavirus response efforts to protect the health and safety of tribal communities. 
Sinema has also added a resources page to her website,, for Arizonans looking for the latest information on coronavirus.