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"Politicians from Turkey and the U.S. comment two countries relationship and current problems, foresight future relations... Presidents, Prime  Ministers, Ministers and Members of Parlement  all speak to TURKOFAMERICA, share their experiences and views with our readers. All exclusive interview from Ankara and Washington, D.C...  

 

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President Trump's July 4th Message “We’ve made a lot of progress."

Washington, the capital of the U.S., has witnessed a great number of celebrations on the Fourth of July, or Independence Day. In his speech at the White House, President Donald Trump vowed to defeat the “radical left.” Trump reacted to recent attempts to remove some sculptures in the U.S., describing these as “attempts to destroy the U.S.”

President Trump stated, “I will not let ‘angry mobs’ trying to tear down statues to ‘wipe out’ U.S. history.” President Trump added, “We’ve made a lot of progress. Our strategy is moving along well. The virus goes out in one area and rears back its ugly face in another area. But we have learned a lot. We’ve learned how to put out the flame.”

Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, with cases rising again in the country, President Trump claimed that 99% of the coronavirus cases in the U.S. were “completely harmless” without providing any evidence. Again blaming China for the spread of the outbreak, Trump noted that Beijing should be “called to account” for their failure to take control of the outbreak.

President Trump also predicted that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready “way before the end of the year.”

Within the scope of  President Trump’s “Salute to America,” events were held in Washington. There was a fireworks show, which was said to be the biggest in recent years; and a flight performance with warplanes was organized by the  Department of Defense.

It was stated that hundreds of guests, including doctors, nurses, security authorities, military members, and management officials, attended the ceremony. White House Deputy Spokesperson Judd Deere stated that the event was organized in a manner that respected the “enormous courage and spirit” of the American people and those who fight the pandemic.

While the Fourth of July celebrations continued in Washington, protests against police violence and racism were also organized.

Many Independence Day events in the U.S. were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beaches in Florida and California were closed; parades and firework displays were not performed.

Despite the concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Trump did not cancel the celebration at the White House.

Secretary Pompeo: Hagia Sophia should remain a museum

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo made a statement regarding the debate around the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. “We urge the government of Turkey to continue to maintain Hagia Sophia as a museum, as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith of traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey and to ensure it remains accessible to all,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo stated the following in his statement:

“The United States views a change in the status of the Hagia Sophia as diminishing the legacy of this remarkable building and its unsurpassed ability—so rare in the modern world—to serve humanity as a much-needed bridge between those of different faith traditions and cultures. We seek to continue to work with the Government of Turkey on a broad range of issues of mutual interest, including the preservation of religious and cultural sites.”

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hami Aksoy, gave a written answer to the question regarding the statement of the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs about the status of Hagia Sophia.

Stating that “they were surprised” by the remarks of the U.S. Department of State, Aksoy said, “No one has the right to speak in a ‘warning or dictating’ manner about our sovereign rights.”

Would Trump tweet about Hagia Sophia?

Hagia Sophia will not cause a crisis between Turkey and the U.S., but it will come as no surprise if the discussions continue, and President Trump makes a statement regarding internal politics. Yet Trump, who has close relations with religious leaders, especially evangelists, can make a statement about this issue. The topic does not occupy the U.S. media’s agenda much; however, the systematic defamation campaign of anti-Turk groups is continuing.

President Trump signs executive order on police reform

U.S. President Donald Trump held a press conference at the White House to sign a “police reform” order. Reporting that he met with the families of African-American victims of police violence before the press conference, Trump said, “These people lost their loved ones in deadly interactions with police. I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain.  We are one nation. We grieve together, and we heal together.”

Coming out against abolishing or defunding police departments, Trump stated, “Without safety, there is a catastrophe.” Implying that the police keep the streets and people safe, he said, “We must improve accountability, increase transparency, and invest more resources in police training. Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals.

“Law and order must be further restored nationwide. The federal government is ready, willing, and able to help. Police chokeholds will be banned during arrests; there will be no more looting or arson. The penalty will be very grave for those who get caught. We cannot tolerate these people.”

President Trump also stated that “As part of this new credentialing process, chokeholds will be banned, except if an officer’s life is at risk. Additionally, we’re looking at new advanced and powerful less-lethal weapons to help prevent deadly interactions,” 

Is police reform necessary?

There are 18,000 police departments all across the USA, where approximately 800,000 people work. And the largest one is the New York Police Department (NYPD). The annual budget of NYPD, with a total of 38,000 police officers, is 5.6 billion dollars. Yes, you did not hear it wrong; it is more than the 3-billion-dollar budget of the United Nations. The other day, the governor and mayor of New York made new decisions on police reform. I discussed the police reform and recent events with three valuable police officers who formerly worked at NYPD.

Yalcin Demirkaya: Having worked successfully as an NYPD detective inspector and detective commander for 20 years, Demirkaya thinks that the politicians are the responsible party for the current situation. Stating that there could also be bad eggs in the police department like in any other group, but we could not lay the blame on the whole department, Demirkaya said that the police officer who killed Floyd was a psychopath. Expressing that police associations defend every police officer, Demirkaya emphasized that the bad eggs should be eliminated. Indicating that the mainstream media was inciting protests with biased and faulty information, Demirkaya expressed that defunding the police would not result in any benefit.

Murat Oner: Having served as a soldier in the U.S. Navy for 12 years and worked for 21 years with the NYPD, Oner will receive the badge of honor. He says that the police department should recognize good cops and bad cops. Expressing that there should be racial, linguistic, and religious diversity within police departments, Oner emphasized that budget cuts would not be realistic. He believes that more funds should be allocated, and police officers should be involved in training, transparency, responsibility, and social programs.

Erhan Yildirim: Having served as the Community Affairs Coordinator at the NYPD, Yildirim says that reforms were already made after September 11, and the NYPD has been working closely with the community leaders of the city. Stating that he found the statement of New York City’s First Lady (who said that an “NYPD-free New York City would be like nirvana”) “strange,” Yildirim said that budget cuts would lead to greater vulnerability, as the city is a center for terrorism.

Secretary Pompeo Urges the Members of the Coalition Against Daesh

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, spoke at a ministerial meeting of the Anti-Daesh Coalition, which was held virtually this year due to concerns about the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Starting his speech by congratulating the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who was present at the meeting, for establishing the new Iraqi government, Pompeo said that as a coalition, members would always support Iraq’s fight against DAESH.

“As the U.S, we look forward to deepening our partnership with the people and Government of Iraq through a series of discussions, particularly the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue, which will begin later this month,” said Secretary Pompeo.

On the other hand, stating that it had been over a year since Daesh had suffered a major defeat and yet the group has continued to exist in the form of cells, especially in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, Secretary Pompeo added, “Our fight against DAESH continues, and it will be here for the foreseeable future. We cannot rest!”

In addition, suggesting that the United States spends the most in the fight against DAESH,Secretary Pompeo said that the US pledged 100 million for the coalition’s main stabilization program for the areas that were liberated last year.

Secretary Pompeo asked other coalition members to pledge more in the fight against the organization.

“It’s true that the pandemic is putting enormous pressure on all of our budgets, but we urge your nations to pledge toward our goal of more than $700 million for 2020. Those funds will support our work with local partners to pursue DAESH cells and networks in Syria and Iraq.”Secretary Pompeo added.

Emphasizing that the support of the coalition was important for the continuity of secure and humane detention of DAESH members seized in Syria and in Iraq, Secretary Pompeo called on all countries to take their own citizens back and try them through the example of Italy and Germany.

President Trump: “I have seen evidence that the virus originated from the Wuhan Laboratory.”

President Trump stated that he saw convincing evidence that the Coronavirus originated from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. While not providing details about that evidence, Trump said, “Either China failed to stop the virus or allowed the virus to spread.”

President Trump spoke about the Coronavirus at a White House event attended by the elderly, one of the at-risk population groups most affected by the virus. When Trump began to allow questions from the media, the event, which was held at a time that the Trump administration was considering various anti-China measures, was transformed into a press conference.

“China either failed to stop the virus or allowed the virus to spread.”

Asserting that there are varying theories about the origins of the Coronavirus and how it began to spread, Trump said: “China either failed to stop the virus or allowed it to spread.”

The U.S. President said, “There are varying theories about this matter. We are considering this from both scientific and intelligence perspectives. Was it a mistake? Was it accidental?” and suggested that answers to these questions would soon be forthcoming.

“China is a smart nation in scientific terms and in a lot of other ways, and they could have stopped the spread of this virus,” said President Trump, adding that China did not want to see him elected for a second term.

“The World Health Organization is acting as China’s PR Agency.”

During the press conference, Trump again voiced his criticism of the World Health Organization (WHO) with statements such as, “It’s as if WHO is serving as China’s Public Relations Agency” and “They should be ashamed of themselves.”

Possible measures that could be taken against China under consideration.

The Trump administration is considering possible measures to be taken against China as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. Along with the economic sanctions currently being discussed is talk of lifting China’s statutorily granted sovereign immunity, which would open a path to American court cases seeking compensation based on damages. President Trump has also announced that they are considering imposing additional taxes on China.

In a statement he gave on Wednesday, American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo  said that China was not permitting the U.S. to access its Wuhan laboratory.

NYC Mayor: “Don’t let your customers without masks in”

New York City Mayor De Blasio has called on the businesses, which are open for essential needs, not to let customers without masks in.

Mayor De Blasio stated that the city had suffered billions of dollars of economic losses due to the coronavirus and requested financial aid from the federal government. De Blasio said, “If we do receive aid from the federal government, we will not be able to provide fundamental services.”

170 million dollars will be spent on food aid

The City of New York and many non-governmental organizations are providing aid in the form of food and basic needs, mostly to the regions of the city where people of low income predominantly live; the coronavirus outbreak struck mostly those regions.

The City of New York has announced that it will spend 170 million dollars on food aid to the poor. The Municipality of New York also announced that it would purchase 18 million ready-to-eat meals that would be delivered using 11 thousand taxis.

Mayor De Blasio said, “No one in New York will go hungry. I give you my word, and I am certainly aware that I have made you this promise. We will not let the people of New York go hungry.”

Masks are on the black market in New York

The N95 masks used by healthcare workers have fallen on to the black market in New York, where the prices of N95 type masks range from 16 to 25 dollars.

NYPD is working hard against coronavirus pandemic.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has assigned police officers to stores that are meeting essential needs to ensure the implementation of social distancing rules.

The City of New York has placed the signs it had prepared for the preservation of social distancing at various spots in the city.

It was reported that police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers, as well as a large number of transport officers in New York, have been infected with the coronavirus. Twenty-eight uniformed and civilian members of the NYPD have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

It has been stated that one in every six police officers in New York is unable to work, either due to having contracted the virus or being sick.

The death toll in New York suddenly increased this week.

Those examining the statistics on how many have been infected with and how many have died from the coronavirus on a global scale have identified a spectacular increase in the data reported from New York: The death toll suddenly increased by 3,778—60%—climbing to above 10 thousand deaths.

NewYork’s statewide shutdown is extended until May 15th

Seven states in the northeast had extended curfew restrictions. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the lockdown was extended until May 15th.

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What does the three-phase plan that Trump has announced to return to normalcy in the US include?

President Donald Trump has publicly announced a three-phase plan to restart economic activities in some states of the country within four weeks.

Saying that "each state is different," President Trump has remarked that economic activities can restart soon in some states while others need more time.

President Trump has called on State Governors to move "very, very quickly, depending on what they want to do."

In the states of the U.S., where there is a downward trend in the number of reported coronavirus cases for the last two weeks, a three-phase plan can be implemented so that the daily life returns to normal.

Also, before proceeding to the second and third phase, there must be a two-week decline in coronavirus cases. According to President Trump's statement, the three-phase plan consists of the following;

1st Phase: Schools will remain closed. Visits to senior living facilities will continue to be prohibited. Elective surgeries can resume in hospitals.

2nd Phase: Non-essential travel will also resume. However, working from home will continue to be encouraged for a while. Schools will reopen. Inpatient and outpatient treatments will resume in hospitals.

3rd Phase: Daily life will return to normal in new conditions. However, the public will be requested to follow the hygiene end social distancing rules. 

During his press briefing in the White House, President Trump stated, "We are opening up our country. The US wants to restart its economic activities."

President Trump also said, "Experts say the nationwide curve has flattened and the peak in new cases is behind us."

President Trump said he believes the new type of coronavirus outbreak in the country is over, and they expect that the loss of life due to the virus has decreased to 60 to 65 thousand. Emphasizing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, Trump said, "Maybe we have saved millions of lives thanks to the precautions we have taken. 

 President Trump: We passed the Peak.

"Until recently, 100,000 to 240,000 people were expected to die from the virus. However, we project less than 100.000 deaths now. We are entering a period of time when the coronavirus pandemic will take 60-65 thousand lives." Stating that some of the state governors also did a good job, Trump remarked, "I think the spread of the pandemic has stopped."

Highlights from Task Force:

"All 50 states and all territories are now under a federal disaster declaration for the first time in American history.We have a sufficient amount of testing to meet the requirements of a phase one re-opening if governors choose to do that," Vice President Mike Pence

"FDA has been very cautious about the antibody tests.Testing is a part of the exquisite monitoring that needs  to occur," Dr. Deborah Birx.

"We're well equipped to see when respiratory tract viral illness will come,CDC has embedded in health departments" across the country,"CDC Director Robert R. Redfield

"The thing that we're hearing is testing is everything and it isn't. The mitigation strategies that are an important part,What we really needed for for Phase One is to be able to identify, isolate [and] contact trace.A very important part of when you’re pulling back gradually and slowly on the mitigation, and you have people who might be infected, you want to know they’re infected, you want to put them in care.”

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci-

Learn More on Opening Up America Presentation: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf

NYC Mayor:We need 45,00 additional health care workers

The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, announced that they were in need of 45,000 healthcare workers in the USA. Mayor Blasio invited healthcare workers to apply by saying, “Everyone who is not yet ready for this struggle, we need you.”

Meanwhile, de Blasio answered some questions. To the question of whether places like restaurants and gyms would open when the quarantine period ended on April 30th as planned, he replied that they predict that the quarantine period continue in May and that they want people to be prepared for it, stating that the time will be extended. He stated that the situation would be better by the end of May.

When asked about whether the coronavirus is seasonal or not, Blasio said, “There is still a lot to learn about the coronavirus. But let me tell you something interesting—yes, the virus may be seasonal; there is no precise information. There is one thing we know for sure that we have a few difficult months ahead of us.”

NYPD is working hard despite coronavirus challenges 

NYPD Officers continue to visit restaurants, bars, supermarkets, salons and public spaces to remind individuals of the ban on congregating in public spaces and to practice social distancing.They visited the followings as of April 5th:

 -2457 supermarkets of which 1295 were closed

 -7019 bars and restaurants of which 5499 were closed.

-1267 public places of which 754 were closed.

During the announcement by NYPD , he stated that 5,600 officers from the New York City Police Department called in sick, and 1,000 had tested positive for coronavirus.. An eleventh member of the NYPD has died from the virus.

New York Governor: “We May Reach the Peak of the Outbreak in Seven Days”

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York (the epicenter of the coronavirus in the U.S.) said that the escalation in the number of cases is ongoing and that it may reach its peak in the next seven days. 

Governor Cuomo said the non-vulnerable need to rely on the healthcare system with 74 percent of people reportedly being treated and released. Governor Cuomo said he recognizes the stress on the healthcare system and how they are being asked to do the impossible.

Governor Cuomo said the Javits Center could be a major relief valve since it has a 2500 person capacity that will be staffed by federal personnel. He stated the following “I can’t tell a hospital that I can send them all the ventilators and supplies they need, we don’t have them. We need to move what we have to where it’s needed. The Federal stockpile is not enough. Help New York now, shift national and state resources now, we’ll do the same when another state hits it’s curve. 325 of the 1000 federal personnel heading to NYC public hospitals today to start. I know it’s difficult and all I can say is thank you to the front line workers.”

Watch Governor Andrew Cuomo's Video: https://twitter.com/NYGovCuomo/status/1246503599020158982

President Trump: “There will be a lot of death over the next two weeks.”

New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, has recorded 630 deaths, the highest number of fatalities in a single day. The President of the US, Trump, said, “The next two weeks will be tough, and unfortunately there will be a lot of death.”

 President Trump put an end to the vaccine issue: “It takes 15–16 months for approval.” He is talking instead about ready-to-use drugs that may suppress the virus.

Some Highlights from President Trump:

-We are trying to save people’s lives. The media must stop fake news! Are they after ratings?

-I don’t care about OPEC.”

-There's going to be "a horrific point in terms of death" and US getting close to that level now,

-I believe in the effect of the drug hydroxychloroquine.We have stockpiled 29 million pills of the hydroxychloroquine. There's some very strong, powerful signs" that hydroxychloroquine works for treating #COVID19

-I want to save live and I don't want it to be in the lab for the next year and a half while people are dying all over the place

3000 soldiers(Health Professionals) will be sent to New York,New Jersey and Connecticut

Trump also remarked that 300 million gloves, 8 million masks, 3 million gowns, and many more critical supplies are being distributed across the nation right now.

Trump stated, “We want them to help our country. We need masks. We don’t want others to buy these masks. You can call this retaliation.” He pointed out, “The expenses of the hospitals that treat uninsured coronavirus patients will be covered by the federal government for the next sixty days. We are expanding the role of our armed forces in our fight against the Coronavirus. Because nobody is as ready for war as us, and we are fighting an invisible enemy right now. I didn’t say that stadiums and arenas must be open in August.”

 President Trump also announced he had a video conference with the managers of the three most popular sports in the country (baseball, American football, and basketball).

Trump said, “We need to open up our country. The treatment can’t be worse than the problem. I want to see the fans back at the arenas when they are ready. The sooner, the better!” 

Trump stated that he believed the national congress of the Republican party would take place as planned on August 24, prior to the presidential election that will be held on November 3.

The Trump administration has recommended the people of the USA to use cloth masks on a volunteer basis to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Sharing the recommendation at a press conference in the White House, Trump also announced that he would not implement the recommendation.

President Trump:The Coronavirus shows need for better flu shot

3,131 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus and deaths worldwide exceed those from SARS.92,312 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, with more cases popping up outside China than inside. with the new cases in Iran, Italy, and South Korea. In the last week, the virus has spread faster than it did in China.There are now more than 100 confirmed cases in the U.S., with 18 of those in Washington state, which also has the first related deaths (six).

President Donald Trump held a press conference on COVID-19 (coronavirus) at the White House together with Vice President Mike Pence, Health Secretary Alex Azar, and Health officials.

President Trump who emphasized that his priority was the health and safety of the US public and that the administration had taken the necessary precautions from the very first day, said: “We are ready to do what we need to do if this disease spreads. However, the risk to the people of the US is fairly low.” Stating that he had been working closely with Congress regarding the issue of the virus and that he believed a common ground had been established between the two parties, Trump said, “We asked Congress for a fund of $2.5 billion. We think that is enough. However, the Democrats want much more than that. They want more money; we’re going to do more. We’re going to spend as much money as is appropriate. I hope we don’t have to spend that much money.”

“TREAT COVID-19 LIKE THE FLU”

Trump called on Americans to treat COVID-19 like the flu and said, “Wash your hands, keep yourselves clean. You don’t have to shake hands with everyone. If there are people with signs of the cold or flu around me, I move away immediately. Treat this virus like the flu, too.”

HEALTH SECRETARY AZAR: THE FINAL VACCINE COULD TAKE UP TO 8 MONTHS

“We have to stop any further spread of COVID-19. We can expect more cases in the US. The US is at risk; the coronavirus could spread rapidly within the community.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who is the highest authority in the Trump government who is in charge of the struggle against the coronavirus outbreak, stated that the necessary equipment to detect cases of infection more quickly is being produced and distributed. On the other hand, Pence said, “Apart from the ban on travel to those coming from Iran, no nationals of any other countries who have visited Iran in the last 14 days will be allowed in the US, either.” Pence said, “We are warning Americans against traveling to Italy and South Korea, which are among the places most affected by the coronavirus.”

Concerning the development of a coronavirus vaccine at military laboratories, US Chief of Staff Mark Milley said, “We will look at the developments in the coming months.”

THE SIXTH DEATH IN THE U.S.

The number of deaths due to the new-type Coronavirus (Covid-19) has risen to 6 in the State of Washington, in the USA. Officials have stated that there are 18 cases in Washington State, 14 in King County and 4 in Snohomish County. There have been over 100 cases detected throughout the US until now.

President Trump and other senior officials met with leading executives from the pharmaceutical industry at the White House yesterday.

 

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