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.

President Trump: "Task Force Will Keep Working "Indefinitely"

President Trump said that Coronavirus Task Force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, has done a fantastic job of bringing together vast, highly complex resources that have set a high standard for others to follow in the future.President stated that the extra ventilators will be shared with the countries which are in need.

 " Likewise, before we had a few tests only, and now we do more tests than every country combined. There is a great number of face masks, shields, gloves, and protective gowns now. The last four Governor's teleconference calls have been conclusively strong. Because of this success, the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on safety and opening up our country again. We may add or subtract people properly. Task Force will also be very focused on vaccines and treatment." President Trump said. 

President Trump also stated that he was unaware of the famous of the task force that he wanted to stop earlier.

Task Force has 22 members including:Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury,Robert Wilkie,Secretary of Vet. Affairs,NSA Robert O'Brien,Stephen Biegun,Deputy Secretary of State, Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council,Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy,Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID , Dr Deborah Birx, US Global Aids Coordinator, Jerome Adams Surgeon General of the United States

White House Press Secretary McEnany described the relationship between USA-China as a disappointment.

Underlining that China did not share sufficient information about the human-to-human transmission of COVID-19, McEnany said, "China did not allow our researchers to investigate their virus management."

McEnany commented, “The US has, to date, conducted 7.5 million coronavirus tests. This is an extraordinary number. It’s not an accidental success.”

“The idea to test everyone is nonsensical.”

When asked if all the workers need to be tested for all people to go back to work safely, McEnany said, “If we tested every single American at this moment, We’d have to retest them every hour. That’s because you can be exposed to the virus anytime. Therefore, the idea to test everyone does not make sense. We have to act in a strategic manner about tests, as we have done so far.”

Reminding that the decision of loosening virus rules was passed on to the federal governors, “We encourage every single governor to follow the guidelines that White House put forward to a phased reopening approach.”

Professor Ivet Bahar became a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The highly successful molecular biology professor, Ivet Bahar, has been elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the world’s most prestigious science academy, for her scientific research.

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, whose headquarters are located in Washington, honored 120 scientists in the USA and 26 scientists outside the USA by electing them as members this year.

Following the announcement made, as of April 27, those elected bring the total number of active members to 2,403 and the total number of international members to 501. Professor Bahar continues her research  as the Founding President and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Bahar is known for her theoretical and computational models, which she developed to explain the functional dynamics of biological systems on a molecular scale, signal transmission, and regulation among neurons, their alignment, and functions in proteins.

United States thanks to NATO Ally Turkey for 'generous donation' of coronavirus aid

On his Twitter account, the U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo shared the photo taken while the military cargo plane carrying the medical aid sent by Turkey was landing on Andrew Air Base near the capital, Washington.

“NATO allies must stand together in times of crisis,” said Pompeo in a Twitter message. “We thank Turkey for their generous donation of medical supplies and protective equipment to help us fight COVID-19 in our hardest-hit areas. Americans are grateful for your friendship, partnership, and support.”

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policies Michael Ryan said, “We are grateful to Turkey for the aid they have provided the USA with and the leadership model they have presented in NATO in the fight against COVID-19.”

Stating that Turkish and American officials coordinated the aid for a week, Ryan said, “Turkey’s aid to the USA, like its aids to Italy, Spain, England, and the Balkans, has been made with the coordination of NATO.”

The Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca had a phone call with U.S. Minister of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kılıç, met the shipment and delivered President Erdoğan’s letter to Trump to U.S. officials during the transportation of the aid package at the U.S. Joint Andrews Base.

It was announced that Turkey’s aid package included 500,000 masks, 400,000 gowns, 2,000 liters of disinfectant, 500 face shields, 400 N95-type masks, and 1,500 protective glasses.

In addition, The second military cargo plane from Turkey arrived in the USA on Friday, May 1, completing the entire delivery.

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.

TCA's Chairman and Founder Dr. Yalcin Ayasli Receives 2020 Ataturk Distinguished Humanitarian Award

TCA's Chairman and Founder, Dr. Yalcin Ayasli, was a keynote speaker and recipient of the 2020 Ataturk Society of America Ataturk Distinguished Humanitarian Award at the 100th Anniversary of National Sovereignty & Children's Day and the inauguration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

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