President Trump issues proclamation for Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day

President Trump issues proclamation for Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day

BILLINGS-U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme and the Department of Justice today commemorated Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day as proclaimed by President Donald J. Trump.

President Trump today signed a proclamation declaring May 5 as Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day. The proclamation affirms the government’s commitment to ending violence against these Americans and to honoring those whose lives have been lost.

Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement, “American Indian and Alaska Native people have suffered injustices for hundreds of years, including today’s rampant domestic and sexual violence carried out primarily against women and girls. Today, President Trump has proclaimed a day to remember all those missing and lost to this unacceptable violence.  Through the Presidential Task Force – co-chaired by Katie Sullivan, who heads our Office of Justice Programs – and in partnership with Tribal Nations, we are all committed to ending this cycle of violence.  To that end, we have brought unprecedented resources to support public safety and victim services, including $270 million in grant funding in fiscal year 2019.  The department is also hiring 11 coordinators to consult with tribes and develop common protocols to address this scourge of violence.  From this day forward, today’s proclamation marks a time for all of us to honor Native Americans who have been lost and rededicate ourselves to what President Trump has called ‘our mission to bring healing, justice, hope, and restoration’ to American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

“We know that violence in tribal communities is too common. Native women and children suffer disproportionately high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault and too often go missing or are murdered. Montana has had several tragic cases,” said U.S. Attorney Alme, who is vice chairman of the Department of Justice’s Native American Issues Subcommittee. “Today, we remember all those who have been murdered or have disappeared. By all of us working together, I believe we can find solutions and stop this crisis.”

Using Federal Funds for Cell Phones and Personal Protective Equipment

On Friday, Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner Jerry Milner sent a letter to child welfare leaders addressing the availability of federal funding and other resources to assist with the purchase of cell phones and plans to facilitate and maintain contact and the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) as an allowable cost.

The letter focuses on the Title IV-B and Title IV-E programs, specifically including the Chafee program under Title IV-E that supports services to youth aging out of foster care. Several hundred tribes operate the Title IV-B programs, both subpart 1 and 2, and over a 100 tribes operate the Title IV-E program either through a direct plan with the federal government or through an agreement with a state.

It states, “The purchase and operation of cell phones for children and youth in foster care, their parents, or foster parents is an allowable cost under Title IV-B and/or the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee) as long as the costs are necessary to fulfill one or more program purposes in §422 (relating to the state plan for child welfare services under Title IV-B, subpart 1), §432 (relating to the state plan for child welfare service under title IV-B, subpart 2) and/or §477 (relating to Chafee program purposes) of the Act.”

“The purchase of a cell phone for a parent or foster parent can meet a Title IV-B program purpose if it is determined that it will facilitate needed communications for case management purposes between such an individual and the agency caseworker, or allow a parent to participate in a remotely-located court hearing or visitation with the child. Additionally, the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Public Law (P.L.) 116-136) authorized additional funding under Title IV-B, subpart 1 ‘to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally’” where agencies meet specific conditions to claim Federal financial participation for these costs.

The letter also describes circumstances under which the purchase of PPE “used by child welfare caseworkers to minimize exposure to COVID-19 is an allowable case management administrative cost under Title IV-E of the Act (45 CFR §1356.60(c)(2))” and “an allowable expenditure of Title IV-B funds for program purposes such as caseworker visits (§422(b)(17) of the Act and for states, §424(f) of the Act) by both state and Tribal Title IV-B agencies.” Conditions under which the purchase of PPE may be allowable for providers such as foster parents, kinship providers, and staff of child care institutions are also described.

Please review the entirety of the guidance provided here: Children’s Bureau Guidance for Cell Phones and Personal Protective Equipment

For additional Children’s Bureau resources and guidance, please see: Children’s Bureau COVID-19 Resources

FEMA Advisory: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Whole-of-America Response

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Whole-of-America Response

In support of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response, FEMA provides the following:  FEMA Project Airbridge video Advisory; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Preservation Best Practices Advisory and Fact Sheet, and a Resource Requests from the International Reagent Resource (IRR) Advisory and Fact Sheet.

FEMA Project Airbridge
To efficiently maintain the country’s existing medical supply chain infrastructure, FEMA augments the existing supply chain through a variety of strategies, to include FEMA Project Airbridge.

FEMA created Project Airbridge to reduce the amount of time it takes for U.S. medical supply distributors to get commercially sourced and procured Personal Protective Equipment and other critical supplies into the country for their respective customers. FEMA is doing this by covering the cost to fly supplies into the U.S. from overseas factories, cutting the amount of time it takes to ship supplies from weeks to days.

FEMA provides distributors with up-to-date information on the locations across the country hardest hit by COVID-19 or in most need of resources now and in the future. As part of the current agreement with distributors, 50 percent of the supplies on each plane are directed by the distributors to customers within hotspot areas with the most critical needs for those supplies. The HHS and FEMA determine hotspot areas based on CDC data.

A brief video on Project Airbridge is available on FEMA Website<> and on all FEMA social media accounts.

Project Airbridge Advisory: Attachment [1]

Personal Protective Equipment Preservation Best Practices
This Personal Protective Equipment Preservation Best Practices Fact Sheet (attached) summarizes best practices for national implementation to sustain personal protective equipment (PPE) while ensuring the protection of workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response.

The objective of the COVID-19 National Strategy for Addressing PPE Shortage is to ensure protection against COVID-19 for healthcare workers, first responders, and patients by implementing three pillars of practice: reduce, reuse, and repurpose. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic response and associated PPE shortages, implementation of contingency and crisis capacity plans may be necessary to ensure continued availability of protective gear.

This fact sheet amplifies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strategies on conventional, contingency and crisis capacity strategies for optimizing PPE. All U.S. healthcare facilities should begin using PPE contingency strategies now and may need to consider crisis capacity strategies if experiencing PPE shortages.

Preserving Personal Protective Equipment Best Practices Advisory: Attachment [2]
Preserving Personal Protective Equipment Best Practices Fact Sheet: Attachment [3]

Resource Requests from the International Reagent Resource
The International Reagent Resource (IRR), established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acquires, authenticates, and produces reagents that scientists need to carry out basic research and develop improved diagnostic tests, vaccines, and detection methods.

The (IRR) Fact Sheet (attached) outlines a simplified process for states and territories to make resource requests from the IRR. Consolidating testing supplies under the IRR alleviates burden on public health labs, which increases efficiency and reduces need to work with separate, individual suppliers for swabs, reagents, and other diagnostic testing supplies.

International Reagent Resource Advisory: Attachment [4]
International Reagent Resource Fact Sheet: Attachment [5]

Treasury Launches Web Portal and Begins Disbursement of CARES Act Funding to State, Local, and Tribal Governments

Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Treasury will make payments from the Fund to States and eligible units of local government; the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories (the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); and Tribal governments (collectively “governments”).

The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that—

(1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);

(2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and

(3) were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

Additional information on eligible uses of Fund disbursements by governments will be posted as it becomes available.

Amounts paid to States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and eligible units of local government are based on population as provided in the CARES Act.  The CARES Act directs Treasury to use U.S. Census Bureau data for the most recent year for which data is available.  The amount of payments made to each State will be reduced by the aggregate amount of payments that will be disbursed to eligible local governments within such State that have provided the required certifications to Treasury.  Additional information on these points can be accessed below.

A unit of local government eligible for receipt of direct payment includes a county, municipality, town, township, village, parish, borough, or other unit of general government below the State level with a population that exceeds 500,000.  Eligible local governments must submit the certification required by the CARES Act to Treasury by the deadline set forth below in order to receive payment.

Payments to Tribal Governments are to be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and Indian Tribes.  Although that consultation has not yet concluded, certain data is requested of Tribal governments at this time to assist in this determination.  Additional information on payments to Tribal governments will be posted as it becomes available.

Governments eligible for payments must provide payment information and required supporting documentation through the electronic form accessible below.  To ensure payments are made within the 30 day period specified by the CARES Act, governments must submit completed payment materials not later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2020.  Eligible local and Tribal governments that do not provide required information—and in the case of a local government, the required certification—by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2020, may not receive any payment from the Fund.

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