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.

Visa Announcement Concerning Worldwide Healthcare Professionals from the U.S.

The U.S. recently became the number one country, surpassing China and Italy, in regard to the total number of infected cases. Therefore, the statement has been published and invited health professionals to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate for obtaining visas, “as long as they possess the necessary and valid documentation.”

The statement in question has been published on the website of the U.S. Department of State, under the visas section. It was noted in the statement that “Medical professionals with approved I-129, I-140 (or similar) petitions or with valid certifications to participate exchange programs (such as DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of coronavirus“ are encouraged to visit the website of the closest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.

The Association of American Medical Colleges  estimated that in a decade from now the United States would likely face a shortage of about 105,000 doctors. About a fourth of all US health care workers, and a third of doctors, are foreign born.

Details: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-h2-visas.html

Secretary Pompeo: Our team won't stop until we get all #AmericansHome who wish to return.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also made an announcement about bringing U.S. citizens home: “Our team is out there taking care of Americans, keeping our own team safe, and we’ve now brought over 10,000 #AmericansHome from places where they were stranded through no fault of their own.”

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo reacts to China

 

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo warned his Chinese counterpart against spreading rumors regarding the coronavirus. U.S. Secretary of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus stated that Secretary Pompeo strongly opposed China’s statement that the coronavirus originated in the United States. 

“The Secretary stressed that this is not the time to spread disinformation and outlandish rumors, but rather a time for all nations to come together to fight this common threat,” Spokesperson Ortagus said in a readout of the call.

Additionally, before this statement, Secretary Pompeo posted on Twitter that the Chinese government is spreading false information and outlandish rumors.

“Spoke today with Director  Jiechi about disinformation and outlandish rumors that are being spread through official PRC channels,” Secretary Pompeo added.

A diplomatic note to China

State Department official confronts China’s ambassador about disinformation and announced that the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.  was summoned and has been given a diplomatic note. Though he avoided making any comments, Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai has met with Deputy Secretary David Stillwell.

In addition, National Security Council Advisor Robert O’Brien claimed that an initial cover-up of the coronavirus in China “cost the world community two months” and exacerbated the global outbreak. A week ago at Heritage Foundation, O’Brien also added, “I think we could have dramatically curtailed what happened in China and what’s now happening across the world.”

Former Air Force General Rob Spalding also had an interview at TRT World and stated that “It is a pattern of propaganda that the Chinese Communist Party executes daily and  Clearly, they know that this was not originated by the U.S. Army. The army was not in Wuhan. The Chinese have pretty strict border control . . . .”

What Happened?

While the coronavirus is assumed to have spread from a wild animal market in Wuhan city of Hubei Province, China, the use of the term “Wuhan virus” by U.S. officials in recent days drew the attention of Chinese officials. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian claimed in a tweet that “the U.S. army could be behind the virus.”

The Chinese Government has started pointing at the U.S. as the cause of the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese authorities have recently protested U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo for calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” and President Trump for claiming the virus is an “outbreak that originated from China.”

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.

 

US CONDEMNS IDLIB ATTACKS, STAND BY NATO ALLY TURKEY

 

The United States condemns the escalating assaults on Turkish Army Forces and innocent Syrian civilians by the Assad regime, Iran, Hizballah, and Russia.The statement came after leight Turkish soldiers and civilian contractors were killed by Syrian government forces in Northern Syria.

"The U.S. stands by our NATO Ally Turkey in the aftermath of the mortar attack by Assad regime forces on Turkish observation posts. This is a grave escalation. The Assad regime, Russia, Iran, and Hizballah's ruthless actions are preventing the establishment of a ceasefire." Secretary Pompeo said.  

"Turkey has the "full support" of the United States in responding to the Syrian Regime's "unjustified attacks" in Idlib "U.S. ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft addressing the U.N. Security Council.

Last December, the United Nations called on Russia and Assad to cease the massacre and, Russia and China vetoed the European Union countries' proposal for Idlib at the United Nations Security Council. The states that had prepared the plan stated that almost 1 million people had left their homes since the start of the last military operation by Syrian forces and Russian air support, four months ago. Thus, Russia, an ally of Assad, had rejected a U.N. Security Council bill for the 13th time since 2011, when the Syrian war began.

 

"We're very, very worried about this. First of all, the significance of Idlib – that's where we've had chemical weapons attacks in the past. We've got three million-plus refugees that may be pushed across the border. We have the Russians in the U.N. being very difficult on the whole humanitarian border assistance thing of late, with their veto of our efforts to try to get a decent U.N. resolution to keep the border crossings in the northeast open, and we think that the northwest will be next. And we see not just the Russians but the Iranians and Hizballah actively involved in supporting the Syrian offensive." said Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Ambassador James Jeffrey during his press briefing sharing the latest developments in Syria.

 

There is a tremendous U.S. support to Turkey on Idlib crisis. Turkey and the U.S. are on the same page about Idlib. No matter how much the two NATO allies disagree on the issue of the YPG-PKK terrorist elements, they both want Assad removed and the killing of Idlib's civilians to stop. From time to time, President Donald Trump shows his appreciation for Turkey's efforts in the region.

 

President Trump and President Erdogan had a phone call on January 27th to discuss recent developments in Syria, and both leaders agreed that the violence being carried out in Idlib, Syria, must stop.

President Trump: This Is A Celebration

President Trump's made a public speech and celebrated his Senate acquittal on Thursday at the White House. His legal team, cabinet members, and GOP Congressional Leadership and as well as Trump's Family, were present at the historical program.

"We've been going through this now for over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never, ever happen to another President ever. I don't know that other Presidents would have been able to take it. Some people said, no, they wouldn't have. But I can tell you, at a minimum, you have to focus on this because it can get away very quickly. No matter who you have with you, it can get away very quickly. It was a disgrace." he told a full packed East Room crowd.

"This is a day of celebration because we went through hell," President Trump told the crowd, describing his impeachment as "all bullshit" and criticizing many of Democrats who stole the country's time with false allegations. "These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person."," Trump said during his East Room remarks

President Trump has thanked many people in the crowd, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell. "Mitch, I want to tell you: You did a fantastic job." President Trump said.

Apologizing from his Family:

"I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people. And Ivanka is here, and my -- my sons and my whole family, and that includes Barron. "President Trump said during his East Room remarks. He hugged his daughter Ivanka Trump and invited First Lady Melanie Trump to the podium. 

Quick Highlights:

-President Trump focused the future and indicated that he would win again in 2020. He also believes that Republicans will get the majority in the House.

- President Trump brandished newspapers such as Washington Post and USA Today with banner headlines saying he had been acquitted.

-Television networks carried the lengthy remarks live, but President Trump did not take any questions after his remarks

- President Trump referred to "dirty cops," "leakers," "liars," and "nasty and horrible people," whom he blamed for his impeachment.

-President Trump called Senator Romney, who ran for president in 2012, "a failed presidential candidate," saying, "things can happen when you fail so badly running."

- There were over 100 people at the East Room, White House

On the Celebration day at White House, President Trump says al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al-Rimi was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

President Trump will be traveling to Charlotte to address the North Carolina "Opportunity Now" Summit on Friday. This will be his 4th visit to Charlotte.

(Pictures taken by Ali Cinar-White House)

*TV Interviews after the President's Remarks.

10 Takeaways from President Trump's Action Against Iran

I was at the White House during President Trump’s address to the nation last week after the retaliatory attacks by Iran on bases in Iraq housing U.S. soldiers. President Trump explained the reason why the U.S. military killed Soleimani and also shared the details of the new sanctions against Iran.

Let’s look at the takeaways from the President’s action against Iran.

Iran’s Missile Attacks and No Casualties

President Trump said, “There were no Americans harmed by the Iranian regime missiles attack. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases.” He also explained that no American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that has worked very well. President Trump saluted the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi made a statement that Iran Administration has sent Iraq an official message that missile attacks “had begun or would begin shortly,” on unspecified U.S. military locations. It was believed that the Iraqi government officials gave a warning to the U.S. on “which bases would be targeted” after Iranian officials passed on the information.

U.S. Troops Staying In Iraq

Despite Iraq's Parliament voted U.S. troops out,United States has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq. State Department Spokesperson, U.S. sees Iraq as a strategic partner not just on security but security, on financial, economic, and diplomatic partnerships. The U.S. wants to be a Friend to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq. U.S. troops are located at nine different bases and number 5200 soldiers. They, including contractors and subcontractors, remained in Iraq to help local forces contain ISIS and stop Iran’s influence in the region.

The Iraqi Parliament asked the U.S. for a pullout plan. After Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani, the future of the U.S. presence in the Middle East is not bright.

Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Esper made clear statements that U.S. military presence will continue in Iraq.

Is the U.S. ready to embrace peace with all who seek it?

President Trump called to the people and leaders of Iran: “We want you to have a future and a great future—one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The U.S. is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

It was seen as a positive message to reduce tension. At the same time, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Kelly Craft sent a letter to the UN Security Council, offering to prepare to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran to prevent further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime. 

Global Actors Urged to Pull Out of a Nuclear Agreement

President Trump made a new proposal and stated that the U.S. is “ready for a new and better” nuclear agreement with Iran. He also blamed President Obama for the 2015 Iran deal, which sought to limit Iran’s capability to establish a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of financial sanctions.

President Trump also said: “As long as I am President of the U.S., Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” He added: “Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the UK, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.”

NATO’s Presence in the Middle East

President Trump asked NATO Secretary-General about giving more contributions in Iraq. He also suggested that NATO establish a NATO-ME (Middle East) Unit in the region. 

A small NATO training division in Iraq suspended its activities during Iran’s missile attack. Secretary-General has also condemned the Iranian missile attacks on the U.S. and the coalition forces in Iraq. NATO called on Iran to refrain from further violence.

The Secretary-General will be meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Mr. Abdul Karim Hashim Aboualgus, at the NATO Headquarters on January 14th.

The U.S. introduced new sanctions on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced new sanctions on Iran's metal exports and eight senior Iranian officials at the exclusive White House Press Briefing.

Trump Administration is evident in the continuation of sanctions against Iran. "Today's sanctions are part of our commitment to stop the Iranian regime's global terrorist activities," said Secretary Pompeo.

Unexpected Demonstrations in Iran

Protests and teargas as public anger grow over Ukranian aircraft downing. Iran is facing a new crisis over the Iranian military's shooting down of a commercial airliner with 176 people on board.

Thousands of Iranians chanted during demonstrations against President Rouhani and Ali Khamenei in protest against unemployment, poverty, and the high cost of living in the past months.

Ukranian Plane Crash in Iran

Iranian ballistic missiles shot down the Ukranian plane after Iran launched strikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. First, Iranian officials have rejected allegations that they tried to orchestrate a cover-up; however, Iran has admitted it unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, blaming human error and the U.S.

There are also questions as to why Iran let a commercial flight take off during the airstrikes.

Two official statements came from Canada and Ukraine. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We will not rest until there are justice and accountability,” and Ukraine President called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

War Powers Resolution-Democrats

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to limit Trump’s military action against Iran without Congressional approval and rebuked the president over his use of military power in the Middle East.

The vote was 224-194, and 8 Democrats voted against the resolution.Senator Tim Kaine proposed a similar resolution that is expected to be discussed this week.

Pompeo and Cavusoglu speak during the tensions.

Secretary Pompeo has spoken with his Turkish counterpart a few times during the about the tensions between the U.S. and Turkey. Turkish officials emphasized the need to work with other countries to solve the problem or de-escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

President Erdogan also shared his concerns about the crisis and highlighted, “Nobody has the right to throw the entire region, especially in Iraq, into a ring of fire for the sake of his or her interests.”

As a result, the United States and Iran crisis has calmed down; however, many things won't be the same as how they were before.

Trump administration will continue pressure on Iran with the military presence in Iraq and Syria as well as economic sanctions. The question is how and till when Iran will resist the significant demand from U.S. and NATO Allies. 

Iran's reputation is getting worse after shooting down the commercial plane, killing 176 innocent people.

There is one reality that Iranian General Soleimani was a terrorist and responsible for killing U.S. troops and innocent people in Syria. Soleimani was reportedly by Turkish and many ethnic media outlets that he was a point person for Iran's backing of Syrian President Assad and helped shape the Syrian military strategies in a terrible civil war that began with pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Although Democrats remain unconvinced, Soleimani threat was imminent, even many Syrian and Turkish people believe that he was a significant threat to the region.

2020 is a presidential election year; however, the foreign policy should be a significant focus for Trump administration this year.

Let's see how the future will look with NATO's further involvement in Iraq.

EUROPE HAS TO DO A BETTER JOB ON FIGHTING AGAINST TERRORISM

Terrorism remains an international problem that directly affects citizens everywhere, however Turkey has been unfairly bearing the brunt of responsibility and criticism and requires combined effort from other countries to help combat this issue.

London Bridge stabbing attack suspect Usman Khan was released last year after a terrorism conviction. He killed several people before being shot dead by officers responding to the attack in the center of the British capital.

European states estimate that as many as 6,000 of their citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS. About a third were killed, while another third remains detained in the region or traveled elsewhere.

There are some 1,200 foreign ISIS/Daesh members being held in Turkish prisons, and nearly 300 were captured during Turkey’s current anti-terror operation in northern Syria.

According to Turkish judicial sources, over 70,000 people have been banned entry to Turkey and over 7,000 linked to terrorist groups or fugitives have been deported.

Europe has not taken severe enough measures to prevent their citizens from joining ISIS and has failed to share useful intel information about these foreign fighters. If an ISIS terrorist comes from London to Turkey and holds a British passport, what do you expect Turkey to do to prevent crossing of the Syrian border other than to send the terrorist back? Europe would rather simply be rid of radicalized people than directly deal with the issue. On top of this, many European countries have accused Turkey of allowing terrorists to enter Syria.

For instance, in the aftermath of the Daesh terror attack in Brussels in 2016, Turkey had alerted Belgian authorities of the threat, but they ignored the intel information. Belgium failed to heed the warning about Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers who was deported from Turkey not just once, but twice, in 2015.

European countries have failed to cooperate with Turkey regarding the foreign fighters. Now, many of them are preparing to revoke the citizenships of ISIS members who came from Europe and were later arrested, implying that Turkey should mind its own business.

Turkey began sending ISIS fighters back to Europe last week, however, some European countries are moving very slowly on this issue. Even President Donald Trump said that the European nations have been a “tremendous disappointment” for refusing to take back captured Islamic State fighters currently being held in Syria, and he added that U.S. taxpayers will not pay to look after other countries’ ISIS fighters.

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated, “In the fight against ISIL [Daesh], Turkey has made crucial contributions for physically destroying the so-called caliphate. Furthermore: No other ally is hosting so many Syrian refugees, 3.6 million in total. And no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey.”

ISIS has attacked Turkey 14 times and killed over 300 people. So, the question is which country has suffered the most?

Turkish Armed Forces neutralized over 3,000 Daesh terrorists and enabled 320,000 Syrians to return to their homes with the Operation Euphrates Shield launched in August 2016. Turkey is an active member of the Global Coalition Against Daesh and co-chair of the Counter Daesh Coalition Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The most recent meeting was held in Ankara on May 7, 2019.

Some European countries are part of the Global Coalition, but only on paper. Many of them have not fought against ISIS in Syria. Furthermore, many European countries have failed to embrace refugees and now create new problems by refusing to take back terrorists who came from their own soil.

This is not a productive way to counter terrorism and foster a stable global community. Today, international cooperation with Turkey is more crucial than ever. EU countries must take responsibility for their own citizens who should be charged with terrorism in their homelands if we want to get any closer to collective peace.

Subscribe to this RSS feed