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Obama fires back at GOP’s anti-Muslim platform in Eid celebration

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President Barack Obama on Thursday praised the contributions of Muslim immigrants to the United States, saying any effort to discriminate against the Islamic faith plays into the hands of terrorists.

“Muslim Americans are as patriotic, as integrated, as American as any other members of the American family,” Obama said at a White House reception to celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.

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“Whether your family has been here for generations or you’re a new arrival, you’re an essential part of the fabric of our country,” he said.

The Obama administration has faced criticism for its plan to admit as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States this year, with some Republicans warning that violent militants could enter the country posing as refugees.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country after a Muslim American and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last year.

While not naming Trump specifically, Obama said that discriminatory policies against Muslims are an affront the “values that already make our nation great.”

Trump, who will be giving his official acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, has used “make America great again” as his campaign slogan.

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“Singling out Muslim Americans, moreover, feeds the lie of terrorists like ISIL, that the West is somehow at war with a religion that includes over a billion adherents,” Obama said, using an acronym for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s not smart national security.”

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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COVID-19

‘Retaliation plain and simple’: Vaccine agency top Doc fired by Trump administration files whistleblower complaint

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Dr. Rick Bright has retained an attorney and will be filing a whistleblower complaint after the Trump administration fired him from his position as head of the federal agency charged with developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Bright was moved to a different agency with a narrower focus after he raised concerns over President Donald Trump's obsession with promoting hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug recent studies found doubles the death rate in coronavirus patients.

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COVID-19

Checking blood for coronavirus antibodies – 3 questions answered about serological tests and immunity

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Coronavirus testing in the United States is moving into a new phase as scientists begin looking into people’s blood for signs they’ve been infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This technique is called serological testing.

Virologist Daniel Stadlbauer helped develop a serological test to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and helped transfer it from the research lab to the clinical setting. Epidemiologist Aubree Gordon regularly uses serological assays in her research studies on influenza and dengue fever. She’s now established serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 in her research lab.

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