The California Courier Online, December 9, 2021

1-         Celebrity Dr. Oz Running for US Senate;

            Do We Need a Second Trump in Washington?

            By Harut Sassounian
            Publisher, The California Courier
            www.TheCaliforniaCourier.com
2-         Bob Dole, former Senator and a great friend of Armenians, dies at 98

3-         Australia’s House of Representatives Unanimously Calls for
Recognition of        Armenian, Assyrian, Greek Genocides

4-         Letter to the Editor

5-         Armenia Continues Fight Against COVID-19

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1-         Celebrity Dr. Oz Running for US Senate;

            Do We Need a Second Trump in Washington?

            By Harut Sassounian
            Publisher, The California Courier
            www.TheCaliforniaCourier.com
TV Celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz announced on Nov. 30 his Republican
candidacy for one of the two U.S. Senate seats from Pennsylvania.

Just like his idol Donald Trump, Dr. Oz has no background in politics.
He has not even served as a City Councilman. The American public and
the world-at-large suffered enough in the hands of the incompetent
celebrity Trump who appointed Dr. Oz to the White House council on
sport, fitness and nutrition, after appearing on “The Dr. Oz Show” as
a presidential candidate.

Besides his lack of political experience, there are several other
issues that should discourage or disqualify Dr. Oz from running for a
Senate seat. Even though he is a medical doctor, he has offered plenty
of baseless medical advice and promoted questionable treatments, such
as diet pills and hydroxychloroquine, Trump’s fake cure for
coronavirus, in order to enrich himself, jeopardizing the health of
the American public. He shockingly suggested on FOX-TV that “a 2-3
percent increase in COVID-19 mortality from reopening schools
nationwide might be a worthwhile trade-off.”

According to Wikipedia, Dr. Oz “has promoted pseudoscience and
alternative medicine, and has been criticized by physicians,
government officials, and publications, including the British Medical
Journal, Popular Science, and The New Yorker, for endorsing unproven
products and non-scientific advice. The British Medical Journal
published a study in 2014 that found more than half of the
recommendations on medical talk series, including “The Dr. Oz Show,”
either had no evidence or contradicted medical research.”

Another problem is that Dr. Oz is running for the Senate from
Pennsylvania, even though he is not a resident of that State. He lives
in a mansion in New Jersey which violates the residency requirement to
run for political office in that State. In late 2020, he changed his
voter registration to a home owned by his mother-in-law in
Pennsylvania. The only link he has with that State is that he
graduated from the University of Pennsylvania over three decades ago
in 1986.

Finally, without wanting to say anything disparaging about his Turkish
background, it remains to be seen, if elected, Dr. Oz will act as the
mouthpiece of the Turkish government or serves the interests of the
United States. In the few days since announcing his candidacy, several
articles have been written questioning his exclusive allegiance to the
United States as a dual Turkish and American citizen. Even though Dr.
Mehmet Oz was born in Ohio, he spent his childhood summers in Turkey
and served for two years in the Turkish army.

Regarding his position on Armenian issues, there are two indications:

1) In 2014, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations
headquartered in Washington, DC, announced Dr. Oz’s participation in
its “master plan” to deny the Armenian Genocide in advance of the
Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in 2015. However, a spokesman for
Dr. Oz said in an email to the Armenian Asbarez newspaper that “Dr. Oz
is not involved in this in any way.”

2) In 2008, when I was being awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor
in New York, Dr. Oz was also one of the recipients of that medal.
During the official ceremony, in my acceptance speech, the minute I
said that I was a descendant of survivors of the Armenian Genocide,
Dr. Oz got up from his chair and left the hall. To be fair to him,
this could have been a mere coincidence.

Nevertheless, it is up to Dr. Oz to clarify his position on the
Armenian Genocide which is already recognized by both Houses of
Congress and the President of the United States. Dr. Mehmet Oz’s true
allegiances will be revealed if he shows any reluctance to criticize
the grave human rights violations committed by his good friend, the
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Despite his celebrity status, Dr. Oz will face an uphill battle in his
political campaign. He will be competing with a dozen other Republican
candidates in the race for the Senate. If he overcomes that major
hurdle, he would then go up against his Democratic rival. The current
Republican Senator Pat Toomey has announced his retirement.

Dr. Oz has come under relentless attacks from the American media for
his questionable past statements. Dr. Dale Summers wrote an article in
The Daily Beast titled: “Please Don’t Elect Dr. Oz—He’s a Disgrace to
Our Profession.” Summers stated: “I greet this prospect with the same
enthusiasm I’d have for contracting dysentery…. He’s been promoting
pseudoscience on his show for years.”

In another article, The Daily Beast’s Matt Wilstein reported the
sarcastic comments made on TV by comedian Stephen Colbert about Dr.
Oz’s political prospects. The article was titled: “Stephen Colbert
Exposes Known ‘Liar’ Dr. Oz Ahead of Pennsylvania Senate Run.” Colbert
ridiculed Dr. Oz’s statement that his candidacy will “help re-light
the ‘divine spark’ inside every American.” He noted that Dr. Oz,
before tossing his hat in the political ring, had a “lucrative career
as a liar, peddling questionable health advice on TV.” Colbert then
added: “But Dr. Oz may not just have fake medical claims; he may have
fake Pennsylvania claims, because he’s running there despite living in
New Jersey for years.”

Karen Tumulty, Deputy Editorial Page Editor and Columnist for the
Washington Post, wrote an article headlined: “What Dr. Oz’s Senate
campaign is missing.” Tumulty stated: “Oz has now offered himself as a
prescription for what ails politics. Count me as skeptical that
Pennsylvania voters will buy the idea that he is the cure they are
looking for.”

It remains to seen whether Dr. Oz’s celebrity status will overcome his
political inexperience and fake medical cures.

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2-         Bob Dole, former Senator and a great friend of Armenians, dies at 98

(Combined Sources)—U.S. statesman, former Senator, 1996 Republican
presidential nominee, and a great friend of Armenia and Armenians, Bob
Dole passed away on Sunday, December 5 at the age of 98. He had served
the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.

Dole advocated for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in
1980-90s, but was never able to achieve that goal because it was
blocked by his Senate colleagues. But Dole had planted a seed and
finally lived to see the House of Representatives, Senate, and the
Executive Branch end the longest-lasting foreign gag rule in American
history and dealing a major setback to Turkey’s century-long
obstruction of justice for this crime against humanity.

Senator Dole always remembered his great friend, Doctor Hampar
Kelikian, who saved his life during the WWII and shared his tragic
family history amid the horrors that began in 1915 when the Turkish
Ottoman Empire undertook a years-long campaign of ethnic cleansing.

He had announced in February that he was being treated for advanced
lung cancer. President Joe Biden visited Dole shortly after learning
of the diagnosis.

Biden on Sunday released a statement mourning Dole. “Bob was an
American statesman like few in our history. A war hero and among the
greatest of the Greatest Generation. And to me, he was also a friend
whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just
the right moment to settle frayed nerves,” Biden said. “I will miss my
friend. But I am grateful for the times we shared, and for the
friendship Jill and I and our family have built with Liddy and the
entire Dole family.”

Biden on Sunday evening ordered that flags at the White House and
other public buildings and facilities be flown at half-staff in honor
of Dole, according to a proclamation released by the White House.

Dole is survived by his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North
Carolina, and daughter Robin Dole.

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3-         Australia’s House of Representatives Unanimously Calls for
Recognition of        Armenian, Assyrian, Greek Genocides

CANBERRA—On November 29, the Federal Parliament’s House of
Representatives unanimously debated in favour of a motion calling on
the Australian Government to recognize the Armenian, Assyrian, and
Greek Genocides, reported the Armenian National Committee of
Australia.

The motion urged Australia’s Government to uphold its obligations as a
signatory to the UN Genocide Convention by recognizing “the genocide
committed by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 of Armenians,
Assyrians, Greeks and other Christian minorities”.

Member Trent Zimmerman moved the motion in the Australian Parliament’s
Federation Chamber, and it was seconded by his co-convenor of the
Australia-Armenia Interparliamentary Union and former Defence Minister
of Australia, Joel Fitzgibbon. They were joined as speakers on the
motion by John Alexander, Josh Burns, Julian Leeser, and Steve
Georganas.

“The House of Representatives has spoken. The Australian Government
has just received a bipartisan and unanimous call to recognize the
Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides, from their Parliament’s
largest and most representative legislative chamber,” said Executive
Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU),
Haig Kayserian on behalf of the Joint Justice Initiative.

The Joint Justice Initiative was formed by the public affairs
representative organizations of the Armenian-Australian,
Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian communities to advocate for
national recognition of the genocides suffered by their ancestors.

“This historic outcome is the first legislative success of the Joint
Justice Initiative, and it means our elected parliamentarians reject a
foreign dictatorship’s hold on this line in Australia’s foreign
policy, and they join our communities’ call on Prime Minister Scott
Morrison and his Government to do the same, and call genocides by
name,” Kayserian added.

Kayserian added on behalf of the Joint Justice Initiative: “The
Armenian-Australian, Assyrian-Australian and Greek-Australian
communities are now emboldened by the recognition and support of our
House of Representatives, and we will use this to redouble our efforts
to ensure Australia’s Government recognizes the crimes committed
against our ancestors by the Ottoman Empire as genocides.”

This major leap forward is the second time genocide has been used in a
motion in Australia’s Parliament, after a 2018 debate referred to the
Armenian Genocide through the prism of Australia’s first major
international humanitarian relief effort, which was to aid survivors
of the genocides of 1915.

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4-         Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Regarding Harut Sassounian’s column of Dec. 2: “Israeli Cluster Bombs
Sold to Azerbaijan Kill & Maim Innocent Armenian Civilians.”

My heart aches with this news.  I’m very sorry Armenians were
subjected to such inhumanity, despite international law and public
opinion. All too often such actions, horrible as they are, are not
surprising.

What is staggering is that Israel would inflict such terror on
Armenia, a population that much like Israel’s, was victimized by
Genocide. Has history taught us nothing?  How does one teach
conscience?

Peter Borisow

Los Angeles

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5-         Armenia Continues Fight Against COVID-19

Armenia continues the fight against COVID-19, as the country continues
promoting the vaccination phase.

The U.S. State Department on July 26 warned American citizens to
reconsider travel to Armenia due to the increase in cases of the
Covid-19.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a
Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Armenia due to COVID-19, indicating a
high level of COVID-19 in the country,” said the State Department.

The State Department also urged U.S. citizens not to travel to the
Nagorno-Karabakh region due to armed conflict.

“The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S.
citizens in Nagorno-Karabakh as U.S. government employees are
restricted from traveling there,” the State Department added.

WHO, with funding from the European Union, in September supplied X-ray
equipment to 7 COVID-19 frontline hospitals – 1 in the capital Yerevan
and in 6 other cities in Armenia.

A new law came into effect on October 1, by order of the Armenian
Ministry of Health, which mandates that all workers be vaccinated;
those who are not vaccinated must submit a certificate confirming the
negative result of the COVID-19 PCR test every 14 days. Those who do
not comply with the mandate face fines and penalties.

Armenia has the lowest vaccination rate in the region and Europe, with
only about 10 percent of its population having been inoculated against
COVID-19 so far. 620,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were donated to
Armenia by Norway with the support of the EU Civil Protection
Mechanism within the framework of the Team Europe initiative is
already in Armenia.

"The entire infrastructure is ready to carry out a large number of
vaccinations. I add that vaccination does not exclude the disease, but
reduces the risk of contagion", Armenian Health Minister Anahit
Avanesyan reported during a recent press conference, adding that the
late entry into force of the restrictive measures was a shortcoming of
her department. According to the minister, they are currently
considering the option of requesting certification of negativity from
Covid or vaccination to enter restaurants and attend concerts.

There were 11,243 active cases in Armenia as of December 6. Armenia
has recorded 340,818 coronavirus cases and 7,691 deaths; 321,884 have
recovered.

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