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Sasnak: Peoples Convoy 2/25/22. Morning Drivers Meeting
Navajo Nation leader welcomes anti-COVID convoy to reservation
Friday, February 25, 2022

One of the top leaders of the Navajo Nation is aligning himself with the so-called “People’s Convoy,” a group of truckers that opposes COVID-19 safeguards across the country.

“I’m here to welcome you,” Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer told truckers who gathered on the largest reservation in the United States on Friday morning.

“The people are rising up,” Lizer said in reference to the mission of the convoy, which included a stop on the Arizona portion of the Navajo Nation, where COVID-19 has taken a disproportionate toll.

In his speech, which was laced with religious Christian imagery, Lizer reminisced about his dealings with former U.S. president Donald Trump. His remarks begin at about 3:35 into a livestream from Arizona.

“I’m a Republican,” Lizer said in front of the flag of the Navajo Nation, reminding the crowd that he spoke at the Republican National Convention back in 2020.

“We love you and miss you,” Lizer said of the one-term former president.

Navajo Nation Office of President and Vice President: COVID-19 Town Hall – February 22, 2022

The Navajo Nation has maintained its strict coronavirus protocols, including mask wearing in public, even as neighboring states and jurisdictions relax their safeguards. The tribe also has one of the highest per capita COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country, an achievement frequently championed by President Jonathan Nez.

“The recent Omicron surge demonstrated how effective the COVID-19 vaccines are in pushing back on symptoms and reducing the number of hospitalizations and deaths,” Nez said on Thursday. “We had high numbers of infections at the peak of the surge, but because we have so many of our Navajo people vaccinated, we did not have high numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.”

Even as the current surge has slowly subsided on the Navajo Nation, Nez has continued to emphasize the need of tribal citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Please get fully vaccinated, which includes a booster shot,” Nez stressed on Thursday. “Our mask mandate remains in effect in all public places within the Navajo Nation. Please take precautions and be extra cautious in public.”

The People’s Convoy, on the other hand, opposes mandates aimed at reducing the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, which has taken a disproportionate toll on American Indians and Alaska Natives across the U.S. The group of truckers is making its way to the nation’s capital to protest what they call infringements on their rights.

The group is expected to arrive in the Washington, D.C., area by March 5.