MBCI Chief talks COVID-19 impacts


As of June 17, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reported 884 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 58 deaths and 29 hospitalizations. However, the MBCI also reported 588 recoveries within the eight tribal communities.

“We want to continue efforts to flatten the curve and also eliminate the number of active cases. We want to not only continue to educate and also provide health care, but also provide the needs of the people, whether its hand sanitizer or face masks we have all those resources available,” said Chief Cyrus Ben.

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Chief Ben welcomed Indian Health Service Nashville Area Director Dr. Beverly Cotton and her team, including a critical response team, who will work over the next 10-days at Choctaw Health Center.

“IHS has been a longstanding partner for healthcare for our Choctaw people. With this ability to come in and provide us with not only technical assistance, but also to bring in a critical response team that can assist us with providing care to our people,” said Chief Ben when discussing the help IHS will provide.

Chief Ben, who was diagnosed with the virus earlier this year, but has since recovered has a positive message for members of the MBCI.

“I would like to encourage each and every one of our Choctaw people to come together and do your part. Be vigilant. Take precautions to minimize the opportunity for exposure. Continue to take those measures to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Chief Ben.