Secretary Pompeo: “We really need the Chinese Government to open up.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has criticized the Chinese administration for failing to provide timely information about the new type of COVID-19 outbreak, saying the time would come when those responsible would be held to account.

Secretary Pompeo, in a statement to the German newspaper Bild, said, “The time will come for those responsible for paying the price,” in response to the question of whether China would be responsible for the global damage caused by the coronavirus. He said, “I’m certain that will happen. For now, we have to focus on our present duties to reignite the American and later the global economy in a systematic manner. However, the time for making accusations will come.”

“Regrettable”

Secretary Pompeo said that the COVID-19 virus, which was first seen in the Chinese city of Wuhan, had not been identified fast enough and added, “The Chinese Government, the Chinese Communist Party did not provide this information in a timely manner. This is extremely regrettable.” 

“It will be very costly.”

Secretary Pompeo, who underlined that much discussion was needed on China’s responsibility for the coronavirus crisis on a global scale, said, “It is crucial to understand how the virus originated and where it originated from. We’ve seen the reports on the wildlife markets in China, providing details as to exactly where the virus originated from. The global economy had to be shut down. The shutting down of the economies is tragic and will be very costly. We need to make sure that no country will ever cause anything like this again.”

Secretary Pompeo also said, “There is one thing we know, and that is that the virus originated in Wuhan. And we know that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is just a few miles from the wildlife market. There are a lot of things that we need to find out. The U.S. government is working hard to understand what happened.”

67,000 Americans Ferried Back to the States

 Secretary Pompeo said, “Our historic effort to repatriate Americans amid COVID19 reflects the dedication of an elite team that executes its goals with speed, brains, and heart. We’ve helped 60,000+ Americans and counting. We’ve sworn to serve them. That’s what we’ll continue to do.” 

President Trump on China

President Trump stated at his press briefing: “We don’t have the most in the world’s deaths. The most in the world has to be China. It’s a massive country. It’s gone through a tremendous problem with this. A tremendous problem. And they must have the most. They’re doubling up on the numbers. And that’s only in Wuhan; they’re not talking about outside of Wuhan.”

President Trump also said a lot of people are looking into the origin of coronavirus. “They talk about a certain kind of bat, but that bat wasn’t in that area. If you can believe this, that’s what they’re down to now, are bats. But that bat is not in that area. That bat wasn’t sold at that wet zone. It wasn’t sold there. That bat is 40 miles away. So a lot of strange things are happening, but there is a lot of investigation going on and we’re going to find out,” President Trump said.

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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 de Blasio Announces Mask Donation from the United Nations to Help Fight the Spread of COVID-19

For the health care professionals working to fight this epidemic, the United Nations has donated 250,000 surgical masks to New York City, which has become the epicenter of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. It is also the city that hosts the United Nations.

Following the written statement made by Guterres, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went to the U.N. warehouses at the U.N. headquarters to receive the delivery of the masks.

In his speech delivered at the U.N. headquarters, Mayor de Blasio made the following statement: “In the midst of this crisis, in the midst of all these pains and difficulties people suffer, when people try to achieve good things, we should see the moments which tell really positive things; we should see that light pieces,” and he emphasized support and solidarity in such a time.

In his statement, Blasio expressed the importance of each and every donation and stated that New York urgently needs help by saying, “Someone out there might not have a quarter of a million surgical masks, but we would accept even one box of surgical masks. We will accept everything we receive or that we can take.”

Critical Statement from NYC Mayor De Blasio: We Need Help!

‘A week's worth of medical supplies left’ in the U.S., New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that healthcare workers fighting with the coronavirus have a week's worth of medical supplies left.

He stated, “Unfortunately, we are of the opinion that this crisis (COVID-19) will get serious starting from April to May; this is the truth.”

De Blasio warned that the half of the population of New York (which has approximately 8,5 million) would get infected by this epidemic sooner or later and stated that the 80% of this percentage would get over this epidemic with light effects, but 20% of it will face serious health problems, and even most of them will lose their lives.

De Blasio assessed that the city would most likely remain closed until May due to the struggle against the new type of coronavirus pandemic.

De Blasio emphasized that even solely New York City needs 15,000 ventilators and said: “We need the President and everyone in Washington to understand this blind truth. Numbers in pandemic and its effects on people are taken into consideration, but we can't underestimate and ignore all these things,” said he.

Mayor Blasio, who emphasized the fact that the pandemic will get worse before getting better, said, "It is going to be better if the president makes no secret of the fact that we have a really tough war ahead of us."

Coronavirus hit NYPD

Latest from the NYPD: 5,199 uniformed members of the NYPD were on sick report, which accounts for 14.4% of the Department's uniformed workforce. Currently, 824 uniformed members and 106 civilian members have tested positive for the Coronavirus.

"In the last 48 hours, we've lost three members of the NYPD family. Today we are all mourning and hurting together, as a family. When we emerge from this crisis, let us #NeverForget the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice," said NYPD Commissioner Shea

The Commissioner added, "We have thousands of employees working from home as long as they could do those jobs and still operate at a high level with the Police Department delivering functions. We're given discretion to frontline commanders in terms of accommodating people, particularly people over 50 years of age with vulnerabilities such as this disease seems to strike harder."

We wish all law enforcement officers a speedy recovery. 

Trump Administration declares Public Health Emergency for the U.S. for 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

 

White House officials held a briefing on Friday stated that the risk to Americans was “low,” and they wanted to keep it that way. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that President Trump signed an order for the U.S. to deny entry to any foreign nationals who have traveled in China within the past two weeks, aside from the immediate family of U.S. citizens.

White House officials said that they were taking further steps because it was found that coronavirus can spread by people who show no symptoms, making it much harder to contain.

U.S. citizens returning to the United States who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days will face a mandatory quarantine. Other Americans returning to the United States from different parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to fourteen days. Also, the U.S. would begin funneling all flights from China to the United States through 7 airports, where there would be enhanced screening.

Secretary Azar called the measures “fairly incremental” and “appropriate, preventative steps.” 

Another speaker at the White House Press briefing Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed the current situation on the novel coronavirus. “The risk to the American public currently is low. Our goal is to do all we can do to keep it that way. As of today, there are nearly 9,700 cases in China, with more than 200 deaths. Additionally, currently, there are another 23 countries that have confirmed, totally, 132 cases — twelve individuals who were confirmed in six countries who did not travel to China. 

6 Confirmed Cases and 191 people in the U.S. are being investigated for the disease.

“To date, we have confirmed six cases of this novel virus in the United States.I want to emphasize that this is a significant global situation, and it continues to evolve,” said Dr. Redfield.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated that the issue now with this is that there's a lot of unknowns. He highlighted that they were not sure if there were asymptomatic infections, which would make it a much broader outbreak than what we're seeing. 

Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun also explained the role of the Department of State in the proceedings of this task force and our contributions. State Department’s first responsibility is to monitor events on the ground in China where they have the presence of U.S. diplomats and to give clear and accurate advice to American citizens and, in particular, American travelers considering visiting or staying in China. The second responsibility that Deputy Secretary of State said that is to assist U.S. citizens in the affected areas as much as possible. Lastly, the core mission of the Department of State is to work closely with our international partners. 

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli also explained the situation from the custom border perspective.TSA, the security, and the engagement with the airlines are critical. Our chief medical officer in the department is in CWMD, and we were providing medical support at the airports. “ Mr. Cuccunelli said. He also added that FEMA continues to prepare and support HHS preparations themselves.DHS will be implementing a funneling effort at the airports. It will be done under the authority of the Customs and Border Protection, and it will include seven airports. Incoming flights from China will be funneled through seven airports starting by 5.00 pm on Sunday, Eastern Time,. Those airports are JFK, Chicago's O'Hare, in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Honolulu, and LAX. 

Confirmed Cases increasing day by day 

The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in China climbed to more than 11,800 as of Saturday morning,

Limited Travel to China

Many countries airlines announced that they stop flying to China for at least a month. American Airlines, Delta, and United would suspend all remaining service to mainland China after a State Department warning put a damper on demand for flights there.

Big Fear at the Fortune 500 Companies-Negative impact on global trade?

Many American companies announced that they gave an order to restrict restricted their employees’ Chinese business travel. There is a big fear that global trade would be affected negatively.

Dow Jones also fell 600 points on coronavirus fears as the US declares public health emergency,

President’s Presidential Proclamation, using his authority according to Section 212(f) of the Immigration and National Act, temporarily suspending the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Details: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The U.S. Position on Libya and Mediterranean

Everyone more or less predicted the possible outcome of the Libya summit held last week in Berlin. With putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar fleeing without signing the cease-fire agreement in Russia, his insincerity was confirmed once again in the meeting in Berlin that involved 11 countries and lasted four hours since a formal cease-fire could not be agreed upon.

The attitude of the United States concerning the Libyan issue remains unclear. Even if U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was present in Berlin with messages of support for a cease-fire, there remain questions about the United States' stance regarding the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya. In the past, the U.S. Department of State expressed deep concern over the drilling activities of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean last year. Everyone knows the United States is following a policy that is more inclined toward the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece. Furthermore, it should be remembered that the American energy company, ExxonMobil, won a tender from the Greek Cypriot Administration, who are trying to parcel the Eastern Mediterranean unilaterally. Despite the reactions of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the company started drilling in the south of the island in 2018 and a crisis arose as a result of this.

The murder of U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens in 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, during an attack on the U.S. Consulate is still fresh in the minds of Washington. Indeed, this sad event continues to be a subject of great controversy in domestic politics. The incidents during and after the Benghazi attack resulted in significant changes in the U.S.' policies on Libya.

It would be right to see the U.S.' sharp turn concerning its policy on Libya as a "foreign policy from a safe distance." The U.S. has thus decreased its actions and its existence in Libya via the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) to a level limited to operations against al-Qaida. The position of the U.S., which has been to support the political solution proposed by the Libya Special Representative of the U.N. since 2014, has transformed into a strategy of "wait and see." In short, the U.S. has been following the developments from afar to see who the "winner" will be.

It can be seen that U.S. President Donald Trump has continued with the policy on Libya from the Barack Obama period. The U.S. unexpectedly withdrew its soldiers from Libya on April 7, 2019. During this withdrawal, there was no statement by the U.S. that it would continue its support for Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA). It also did not go unnoticed that the timing of the U.S. troops' withdrawal coincided with the operations directed at Tripoli carried out by Haftar. In the course of these unexpected events, Trump spoke on the telephone with Haftar on April 15, surprising everyone. However, Russia's speedy entry into the Libyan crisis in September 2019 has caused the U.S. to review its Libya policy.

Moscow's attempts to become a determining player in Libyan politics by sending private troops has brought with it the possibility that Russia will have a say on matters like the wave of migration originating from North Africa and the sub-Saharan region and the supply of Libyan oil. Both of these have shaped European politics recently in connection with the matter of Mediterranean energy.

Even though the U.S. attempts to remain on the same side as Russia in Libya, there are some rumors that the U.S.' close allies, such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, support Haftar and are indirectly impacting Trump's Libya policy.

The visit to Benghazi by the U.S. deputy chief of mission in Libya, Joshua Harris, in October 2019, where he discussed the matter of ending the war in Tripoli with the authorities, and the participation of the U.S. in the Berlin conference at the Department of State level have been perceived as a message that the U.S. will be at the table.

Even though the U.S. is getting ready for a really busy agenda with the upcoming presidential election in 2020, it is expected to voice an opinion on foreign policy matters regarding Libya and thus the struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In that sense, the justified struggle of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and a close relationship with the diplomatic representatives of the U.S., which can relay the factors underlying the events, are important. And they are valuable, too. Indeed, the recent telephone call made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Trump, where they mostly talked about Libya, was conspicuous. In a region where the conflicts of interest are immense, the United Nations should be expected to play a more active role and to support a government that has already been recognized.

Otherwise, the fate of Libya and the other Middle Eastern countries will be one of division and tragedy; and this will go down in history as a tale of skulduggery.

 

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