Turkish Americans in the 2020 Elections!

In April, Aycha Sirvanci Sawa achieved a stunning election win to become the City Comptroller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What's Next for Turkish Americans in the 2020 Election Year?  The next-go-around for Turkish Americans at the ballot box is this July. Two Turkish American lawyers are running in elections in the states of New Jersey and Louisiana. The outcome of these polls could be historically significant for the Turkish American community.

Supporting the Hospitable People of Turkey and Refugees Living There

6.8 magnitude earthquake rocks Turkey. Islamic Relief staff in Turkey alerted us to a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Elazig province just hours ago. Latest reports share that more than 1,000 people have been injured and at least 22 people were killed -- many of them as they were trying to escape collapsing buildings.

A Global Crisis Means A Global Response


Millions of dollars’ worth of emergency assistance to more than 20 at-risk countries has been released by Islamic Relief (of which Islamic Relief USA is a part of) in a bid to stem the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, help those infected and support vulnerable communities that have been the hardest hit. Thousands of hygiene kits containing essentials like hand sanitizer, surgical masks and thermometers have already been delivered to high-risk communities in places like Syria and Afghanistan where vital health infrastructure has crumbled due to conflict. 

Special Ramadan Greeting from Members of Congress

Seventy members of Congress from across the United States have shared video messages and letters of recognition with Islamic Relief USA, expressing their “Ramadan Mubarak!” greetings and commending the Islamic Relief family for its humanitarian and advocacy work. IRUSA thanks them for their engagement with the Muslim community and their recognition of this blessed season.

Halfway through Ramadan

We've already reached the half-way point of this month where we strive for piety and righteousness! And you have made it a remarkable 15 days. Look at some of what we've achieved together.
 
TURNING IDEAS INTO ACTION

With so many people restricted to working from home and practicing social distancing, IRUSA answered your call and created a whole channel of online events and programs via IRUSA Live, including: Ramadan Reflections - The Prophets Series; 30 for 30 - Fitness Workout with Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady; Digital Kids Camp with Noor Kids, Cooks for a Cause, The Ten, and more.

WORKING GLOBALLY

Islamic Relief donors have provided food aid and hygiene kits containing essentials like hand sanitizer, surgical masks, and thermometers to high-risk communities in places like Syria and Afghanistan where vital health infrastructure has crumbled due to conflict.

And you've done so much more: You've helped those suffering from thirst get water; orphans get support; and widows gain opportunities to create a livelihood for themselves and their families; and on and on.
 
YOUR SUPPORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Because of your generosity and support, IRUSA is able to implement these programs and many more to help our sisters and brothers in need around the world.

If you have NOT made a donation this Ramadan, it’s not too late! And if you have, then a Ramadan Jummah is a great day to increase your sadaqah.

$50  can provide a family with a Ramadan food package

$100 can provide rice and meal essentials for five families

$500 helps give financial assistance to our vulnerable neighbors affected by COVID-19

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Dr.Sadtler:”We are researching to quantify undetected cases of coronavirus infection"

A new clinical trial initiated by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) explores how much the coronavirus spreads nationwide than has been detected. Dr. Kaitlyn Sadtler, who heads the unit that conducted the experiment, answered the questions of Turk of America.

- Can you explain the details of your antibody clinical trial?What is the scope of the study?

Our study seeks to understand the proportion of undiagnosed cases within the United States in healthy adults. We will be testing 10,000 volunteers from across the country for the prevalence of SARS-CoV2 antibodies in their blood. 

-What is the main importance having the antibody tests?

These antibody tests allow us to understand where the virus has been, and where it has spread, and the true extent of the infection in the United States.

-I believe these are available at home blood collection kits. Is it different from antibody tests which is available at pharmacies or small medical clinics such as CityMD?

Our at home blood collection kits are exactly that – collection kits. They are not at home tests. When a donor sends their sample back to the lab, we extract the antibodies, then analyze them in the laboratory using an ELISA. This is different test than the rapid “lateral flow” tests that look like pregnancy tests. ELISAs are more sensitive, and we have the ability to run multiple different controls (samples that we know the theoretical outcome of, such as blood serum before 2019 when SARS-CoV2 didn’t exist, and blood from known COVID19 patients). This allows us to have strong validation on our tests, determine what level of signal intensity in our assays is determined “positive” versus “negative”, and ensures that what we measure is correct.

-If a person has antibodies that has prior covid-19 infection,does it mean that they are immune to Covid-19? Who is eligible to take the test?

We do not know for certain whether or not the presence of antibodies equals immunity. In partnership with serosurveys, we need to evaluate whether or not these antibodies can neutralize the virus (prevent it from spreading from cell to cell in a petri dish), what level of antibodies would then be protective, and ultimately, if someone has these antibodies in their blood, do they get the disease if exposed again. The work we are doing is a research study, not a medical diagnostic, and we are testing individuals who have not yet tested positive for SARS-CoV2 by nasal swab, and are not currently ill.

-`Where do you see the coronavirus pandemic going? Your prediction?

When we look at the death toll, it surpassed 60k.IHME prediction for death toll was 68k two week ago and now they revised to 78k.Do you think U.S. would reach to 100k death toll by August?

I am not an epidemiologist, so I can’t comment too much on this. Stay distanced, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay safe!

-What are your thoughts regarding the vaccine? How soon would vaccine be ready? 

I cannot comment directly on the vaccines, but scientists are working very hard on developing a vaccine, first testing to make sure it is safe, then testing to make sure it works, and then testing to make sure it really really works (more numbers of people tested).

Undocumented Students Generated Up to $132 Million in Relief to Colleges—But They Won’t Receive a Dime From the Stimulus

By Viviann Anguiano - Maya is an undocumented student activist enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) as a sociology and labor studies major. Her parents are undocumented and have lost their jobs due to shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While Maya’s family’s unexpected struggles resemble many families’ across the country right now, her family is not eligible to receive the stimulus checks that the U.S. government is disbursing as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Maya recently paid her family’s rent with the money she received from a private $1,000 scholarship.

We Need Your Help, Spreading Awareness for Aylin Acikalin, Democrat for Judge of New Orleans, First City Court!

Turkish American women saw one political success story so far this year with the election of Aycha Sawa as City Comptroller of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last month. Aycha is the 12th Turkish American elected to public office, and the first Turkish American woman elected as the chief financial officer for a major American city. She is also the second woman elected as a city official in Milwaukee.

NYC Mayor: No protests are allowed in NYC

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that New York got over the peak already. However, he also remarked that the economic activities could not go back to normal until September.

Mayor De Blasio said, “Consider how much effort and discipline does minimize the numbers take and follow the same path when you are sure that it will not come back.” De Blasio warned that if otherwise, that is, if the pandemic comes back with the boomerang effect, efforts to reopen the economy will be postponed to a far later date.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed out that many New Yorkers flocked to city parks that weekend as warmer weather tempted them out. De Blasio emphasized that if the social distancing and other measures relevant to the pandemic were not obeyed, the pandemic could boomerang and hit the city folk again.

De Blasio said, “We will not give permission even to small groups that do not obey the social distancing rules. Failure to obey the rules will delay the city’s return to life.”

He said that the number of cases and deaths began to decrease in New York. Stating that the pandemic was in a silent period, Blasio highlighted that even though the numbers decreased, this fight was not over, and there was a long way ahead.

New sector councils are established in NYC.

Mayor Blasio stated that he would be forming several advisory councils to aid New York City’s reopening when the coronavirus pandemic recedes. New York City is rolling out six councils on specific business sectors of city life today with four more on the way in the coming days.

No protests are allowed in NYC.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea stated outright that New Yorkers are not permitted to gather for protests in public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayor de Blasio said: “People who want to make their voices heard, there are plenty of ways to do it without gathering in person.”

 NYPD Commissioner Shea stated: “We’re in a pandemic, and executive orders have been issued, these are laws that have been passed down through executive order to keep people alive, while we greatly, greatly respect the right of people to protest, there should not be protests taking place in the middle of a pandemic by gathering outside and putting people at risk.”

As of to date, New York has 337,421 cases, 26,365 deaths and 1,089,916 tests.

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