Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser unveils large street banner reading 'Black Lives Matter'

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser shared the painting made on 16th Street, which became the center of protests in response to the killing of African American George Floyd while in the custody of the police in Minnesota, on her Twitter account and announced that an intersection near the White House was renamed to Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Each of the 16 bold yellow letters spans the width of the two-lane street, creating a huge visual easily spotted by aerial cameras and virtually anyone within two-three blocks.

Mayor Bowser sent a letter to  President Trump, stating that she ended the “state of emergency” situation and the curfews in the city, and requesting that he withdraw the National Guard soldiers in the city.

Per President Trump's request,Pentagon moved 1,600 active-duty troops to the Washington area as the military is playing a critical role in responding to protests in the nation's capital,Washington,DC .

Protests Continue in New York City

In the U.S. , the peaceful protests that started and spread across the country in response to the police killing of African American George Floyd continue on the twelfth day.Thousands of protesters have come together in various territories in New York yesterday and called for justice for Floyd. The protests that took place in Brooklyn,Bronx,Staten Island and Manhattan in the afternoon were calm in general.

There were few  clashes between the police and the protesters who did not comply with the curfew, which had been in force after 8:00 p.m. for five nights in order to prevent looting and violence in protests in New York.

NYPD Commissioner Shea tweeted :"The widespread criminal activity that we’re witnessing at night has nothing to do with the peaceful protests we’re standing with during the day. This senseless looting is organized by bad-actors using a worthy cause as cover."

Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, alongside his two counterparts had a press briefing on Saturday:NYPD arrested 1,024 people in protest related arrests and 1,164 summonses.This arrest number  did not include curfew violations. Deputy Commissioner Miller said: “It does not appear that groups traveled into New York together and initially arrests of people outside New York made up a high percentage but over time they became a much smaller percentage. 

NYPD Officials also said that 292 officers injured during George Floyd protests in 5 boroughs. NYPD 10th Precinct tweeted and highlighted that "We respect everyone’s First Amendment rights, but there is no reason to bring axes (attached to signs) and knives to peaceful demonstrations."

Mayor De Blasio: "We Do Not Want Armed Forces"

Stating, “When outside armed forces go into communities, no good comes of it in New York,” Mayor of New York City. Bill de Blasio blamed both sides in the protests that involved violent incidents in the city and added, “There are people who participate in these peaceful protests just to do violence. On the other hand, we also witnessed scenes of breach of power by the police that do not match with our values.”

Mayor Blasio also tweeted regarding George Floyd's memorial : " I could see the raw pain and anger in the crowd at George Floyd’s memorial yesterday. I felt it, I heard it. People have seen injustice before our very eyes and can't live with it."

Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized to NYPD

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo apologized to New York Police Department (NYPD) and Mayor Bill de Blasio after his criticism following the violence and looting incidents. NYPD Chief Terence Monahan  was interviewed by "Today" Show and he said "Last night his office called and apologized to me, and I know he called the commissioner directly to apologize,” .  What  Governor Cuomo has said was "The police in New York City were not effective in doing their job last night. They have to do a better job.”

US President Trump: “We think that we will have had a vaccination by the end of the year.”

President Trump held a press conference at the White House on vaccination research.

President Trump pointed to the fact that almost all the states in the country have announced their normalization plans now, thanks to their testing capacities of up to 350,000 per day. Trump said, “Another important pillar of the normalization process of our country is the development of effective treatment and vaccines against the virus. We are looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before.”

President Trump said that various studies on the vaccine had been initiated as of January 11, the early days of the pandemic, and his government has been doing their best to support such studies.

President Trump Administration Unveils the Warp Speed Project.

Citing that his administration provided $10 billion to fund the research initiatives, President Trump said, “Today, we are starting a new project called Operation Warp Speed in the field of vaccination. In this way, we will make a massive scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project.” He said, “Its objective is to finish developing and then manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine as fast as possible.”

President Trump stated that within the scope of this project, the Ministry of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and experts from many institutions and organizations came together. He noted that the army would be used to distribute the vaccine to the country after its development.

'Hats off' to whoever develops vaccine First"

Noting that they had been working in collaboration with other countries to develop a vaccine, Trump said, “We have no ego on that matter. We are working with our allies and sometimes we are working with those who are not our allies.” He commented, “Whoever develops the vaccine, we think it’s great.”

“Vaccine or no vaccine, we are back.”

On the other hand, President Trump said, “And I just want to make something clear. It’s very important. Vaccine or no vaccine, we are back to normal. We are starting a process. And in many cases, they don’t have vaccines, and a virus or the flu comes, and you fight through it. And people sometimes, I guess—we don’t know exactly yet, but it looks like they become immune, or at least for a short while.”

Side Notes:

President Trump's F-35 Card

Stating that the U.S. should not have a commitment to China or other countries at the supply chain point, President Trump said, “We have good relations with President Erdoğan now, but what if it breaks down? What are we supposed to do if they say that ‘we won’t be delivering the F-35 parts?’” he said.

President Trump: “We’ll be making an announcement on the World Health Organization shortly, soon.”

Trump also commented on the quitting of the Head of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, saying, “I am OK with it. The World Trade Organization has been acting very badly for a long time. They treat China as a developing nation. Therefore, China gets a lot of the benefits that the US doesn’t get.”

Trump: I don’t want to talk to Xi right now. We might cut off our whole relationship with China.

Arguing that China is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak and its becoming a pandemic, Trump said, “I am very disappointed in China. They should have never let this happen. So I made a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.” Stating that the USA might cut off its relationship with China, Trump said, “There are many things we could do.

We could take many steps. We could cut off the whole relationship. Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship.”

The Economic Situation

There will be an election in November, but Trump is not willing to face this given the existing financial scenario. During the last two months, 36 million people in the US have applied for unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate in the country reached 14.7% in April. This number is expected to climb in the next few months. This is the highest unemployment level that the US has experienced since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

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).

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