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Headline News 01/05/2020
• Coronavirus: Trump Stands by China Lab Origin Theory for Virus
• Dubai Ruler Donates 60 tons of PPE Equipment to UK’s NHS
• Pakistan has a Dependency Syndrome, says Prime Minister Imran Khan
Coronavirus: Trump Stands by China Lab Origin Theory for Virus
US President Donald Trump has appeared to undercut his own intelligence agencies by suggesting he has seen evidence coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory. Earlier the US national intelligence director's office said it was still investigating how the virus began. But the office said it had determined Covid-19 "was not manmade or genetically modified". China has rejected the lab theory and criticised the US response to Covid-19. Since emerging in China last year, the virus has killed 230,000 people worldwide including 63,000 in the US. At the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump was asked by a reporter: "Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?" "Yes, I have. Yes, I have," said the president, without specifying. "And I think the World Health Organization [WHO] should be ashamed of themselves because they're like the public relations agency for China." Asked later to clarify his comment, he said: "I can't tell you that.
I'm not allowed to tell you that." He also told reporters: "Whether they [China] made a mistake, or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one, or did somebody do something on purpose? "I don't understand how traffic, how people weren't allowed into the rest of China, but they were allowed into the rest of the world. That's a bad, that's a hard question for them to answer." The New York Times reported on Thursday that senior White House officials had asked the US intelligence community to investigate whether the virus came from a Wuhan research laboratory. Intelligence agencies have also been tasked with determining if China and the WHO withheld information about the virus early on, unnamed officials told NBC News. In a rare public statement, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees US spy agencies, said on Thursday it concurs with the "wide scientific consensus" regarding Covid-19's natural origins. "The [intelligence community] will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan." It was the first clear response from American intelligence debunking conspiracy theories - both from the US and China - that the virus is a bioweapon. [Source: BBC]
Trump is blaming China to conceal not only his own shortcomings, but also prepare for the general election in November. By apportioning blame for the COVID-19 crisis on China, Trump hopes to garner greater support amongst his Republican base for the upcoming presidential elections.
Dubai Ruler Donates 60 tons of PPE Equipment to UK’s NHS
The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has donated 60 tons of personal protective equipment to the UK, according to Dubai Media Office. Sheikh Mohammed bought the equipment from suppliers in China and offered it to the UK’s National Health Service. Planes from China loaded with the equipment arrived at Heathrow Airport in London on Thursday afternoon, with more planes expected to arrive in the coming days. A spokesperson for Sheikh Mohammed said the donation was made because of the Dubai ruler’s “deep and long-standing connections with the UK" and that “he is determined to do his bit to keep Britain's health workers safe,” the BBC reported. The equipment included face masks, protective clothing and other essential supplies, Dubai Media Office said. The UK remains in a state of lockdown since Boris Johnson’s March 25 announcement, with 171,253 confirmed cases and 26,771 deaths announced on Thursday. Health workers suffered from shortages of protective equipment and called on the government to do more to get the supplies to front-line medics. [Arab News]
The Muslim Ummah is suffering from a variety of disasters including COVID-19, and Dubai decides to donate PPE aid to the UK. The UK has been spearheading the war against Islam—not to mention collaborating with the UAE to wage war in Yemen—in many Muslim countries.
Pakistan has a Dependency Syndrome, says Prime Minister Imran Khan
As Pakistan grapples to combat coronavirus with increasing number of cases, Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the need to build its own reliable medical infrastructure. “The coronavirus has brought to the fore that Pakistan needs to build its medical infrastructure and reduce dependency on foreign aid,” added Imran. Speaking during this visit to COMSTECH exhibition in Islamabad on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran said: “We have a dependency syndrome; we don’t have that self-belief, we didn’t progress towards knowledge economy because we didn’t spend on education and research. Pakistanis excel once they immigrate; why can’t you create that system here?” “We have to focus on building our medical infrastructure so that we are prepared for any such emergency situation in the future,” he said and added that the COVID-19 crisis provided an opportunity to produce locally manufactured ventilators and protective equipment as everything cannot be imported. COMSTECH stands for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the promotion and cooperation of science and technology activities among the OIC member states. “It is only now — with a global shortage — that we have found out that building ventilators isn’t that hard. The country that had the capacity to make nuclear bombs, how hard can it be for it to make ventilators?” he said.
Khan’s engagement with IMF loans underscores Pakistan’s further dependency on foreign powers and their institutions. This shows that Khan’s words belie his actions, as he plunges Pakistan deep into the debt trap.
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