23:22 GMT14 August 2020
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    As the deadline for the August 4 Republican primary nears, Jana Jackson, a candidate running to be elected to the Arizona House of Representatives representing the 28th District, sat with Sputnik to discuss American protests, racial prejudice in the US and the ongoing election cycle.

    Sputnik: So your primary is scheduled for the 4th of August. What are the main challenges and issues that the people of Arizona and your district are facing right now?

    Jana Jackson: I have five basic challenges. But my number one challenge is education. So education is like number one in my book.

    Then number two would be for people to look at the taxes of what we have and how we're allocating that money. So we're not looking for more taxes. I'm looking at how the money is allocated for taxes.

    And then the third thing that is up in a priority would be making sure that we support all of our military and those that protect us, all of their families.

    And that includes here in America, here in the state of Arizona, we have the National Guard. So it's looking at National Guard families, but also looking at families of police officers and firemen to make sure that our state has a healthy, a healthy look at who we are supporting.

    And then the next one would be to support our small businesses. Here in the state of Arizona, we have lots and lots of small businesses.

    And therefore, what we have, we need to make sure we're using first.

    It's not saying we don't want other people to come to our state. We do want lots of people to come to our state. But right now, those that are here, we need to support them. We need to make sure that the small business owner can stay in business during any time, during any kind of foreseen or unforeseen challenge to our state.

    So those are the main ones that I am working towards.

    And then naturally, all of them fall under making sure we uphold the United States and Arizona constitution, which is very, very important here in the United States. We were founded under a constitution. And the men that founded this constitution, they set priorities of where we need to focus as an effort as a nation.

    And so we need to make sure that we follow what our forefathers had set up for us because that's how the United States was born. That's how our government was formed. And so it was very, very important for us to maintain that, because so far in the history of the United States, it has worked.

    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to attendees as he hosts a 4th of July 2020 Salute to America to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day holiday at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2020.
    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to attendees as he hosts a 4th of July "2020 Salute to America" to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day holiday at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2020.U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to attendees as he hosts a 4th of July "2020 Salute to America" to celebrate the U.S. Independence Day holiday at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2020.

    Sputnik: During President Trump’s speech on the 4th of July, he focused on the importance of preserving US history. During his recent visit to Arizona at the end of June, Trump claimed that - "The radical left — they hate our history, they hate our values, and they hate everything we prize as Americans”. To what extent does Trump serve as the defender of American values and ideas, and the American dream?

    Jana Jackson: Well, let me give you a story of how I personally met Donald Trump. I've worked for NASA as an aerospace education specialist. And I was very, very proud because I'm from the city of Chicago and I was opening up the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, opening up the aerospace division of that. It was an honour. An incredible honour for someone who was born in the inner city, who was raised in the inner city, who went to high school and college in the inner city to be able to get to a point that I could actually serve NASA.

    So while I'm going, I asked my mom if she would come and go. And my mother's a very meek, elderly woman. And at that time - she's now passed - she really didn't want to go because of the difference of the class. There's a class system here in the United States and being an inner-city mom, African-American, she really didn't know if she was going to feel comfortable because her daughter had graduated to being able to talk and serve all people. So I took her to the Museum of Science and Industry.

    And I'm going to speak in front of hundreds of people. And most of the people there were very, very wealthy. And so I'm bringing her to the front to sit in the middle because I'm speaking. And so I'm dancing around because I needed to go to the restroom. And I didn't know anyone to say, hey, can you just sit with my mom? And a person came behind me and he said, Miss, may I help you? You seem like you're in trouble because I'm dancing around. You know, you can tell something's happening here. And I said, sure. And I looked at my mom and she said, that's OK. And I went to the restroom.

    When I got to the door coming back, this man was sitting down tapping my mom's hand, and she was smiling and laughing and talking. And she was so comfortable. And so I walked over and he stood up and he turned around. It was Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump has shown my mother such passion that he not only hit my vote, he had my mom's vote.

    But the problem was Donald Trump wasn't running for president. He didn't even talk about being a president. I met him when he was just a man. He's just a man, period. But I met him. I met this man. And my mom is of the age of Dr. Martin Luther King. My mom protested in Soldier Field when Martin Luther King came to Chicago. She was there marching at Cicero, saying, we need to have freedom, we need to have rights. And this man showed my mom so much compassion. He did not have to show her that compassion.

    And so Donald Trump is the leader of America. He is the leader of the United States. And as an African-American to say that people turn around and look and say what? He had the respect of my mom. So anything that Donald Trump says that we need to do, I will follow - not because he is right, but because he is my leader. And as long as he is the leader of the United States, he will always have my support. Now, he's a man so he's going to make a lot of mistakes. He's going to say a lot of things that I disagree with. But he is my leader. And as long as he's my leader, I will follow his directions. And that's what our country is built on.

    Black Lives Matter protesters enter a rally against restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Cheney Orr
    Black Lives Matter protesters enter a rally against restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., July 4, 2020. REUTERS/Cheney Orr

    Sputnik: Democrats hoping to flip Arizona have pointed to the lagging poll numbers for President Trump amid his response to the coronavirus pandemic and protests over so-called ‘systemic racism’. In your view, would the people of Arizona support Joe Biden or does Donald Trump have a strong supporter base in your state?

    Jana Jackson: I'll tell you this story again. There was a group of men that was in they called the Tuskegee Institute. They took a group of black men and they purposefully gave them syphilis. And these men were purposefully given syphilis. Syphilis is a disease that not only kills it spreads. So they took these groups of black men. Now at this time the person who was president was a Democrat. And Congress was basically Democratic. So you sit here and I'm listening and I'm saying this what's happening right now cannot be Donald Trump's fault.

    But when these men were given syphilis, these African-American men then called Negroes. And I'm talking hundreds of passing syphilis. Now, that was something that was intentional. That's what our history has to remember. Donald Trump can't control the air. But these men that gave these African-Americans who are still living syphilis, to pass from them to their wives to their children when a baby is born under the syphilis conditions, the baby then comes out with syphilis. So we're talking about generations of people that were infected with syphilis to find out that they were going to have a cure and none of these men knew it. Now, that, to me is intentional.

    The air that we breathe is not and it's not looking at whether or not someone gave it to us. What it says, it's looking at how we react to what we have. And we keep living and we keep breathing. And we keep building our country to be number one in the world. Yes, we are suffering. Yes, people are dying.

    Well, people have forgotten that when we had polio, the United States is the ones who created vaccination. So that people throughout the world, including Africa, this polio took the world by storm. This polio deformed children. The United States came together and we stopped polio. So if we can stop polio, we can stop this virus. We just haven't had time to do it. And it's going to go past Donald Trump's for years. It's going to go from Donald Trump to the next president. It has no difference as to who is into who, who is our leader. It has absolutely no difference other than. It is a virus that our country can stop for the world because that's what we did. That's what we do. That's what we did for polio.

    You research all of the countries. You will see how many of those countries have polio. How many children were deformed because of polio. This is within my lifetime. So if the United States can stop polio all over the world, we can stop this virus.

    As long as we come together and stop blaming people, we stop blaming the president. We stop blaming the person their societies. We stop blaming China. We stop blaming Russia. We stop blaming Germany. But once we come together and I believe that Donald Trump is the man, the only president that can bring these countries together to say we can work together. And this is a plan.

    It's not political. It's life and death for the world. And until people start realizing it's life and death for the world, it has gone past the president.

    So I think that there is going to come a time that people are going to start looking and they going to stop this political stuff and they're going to say, you know what? Hey, our children had polio all over the world now. We don't have polio in the United States to our children, have measles, mumps all over the world. The United States help, help to do that just for the United States. We did it for the world.

    So I wonder if countries can come together and work together and follow the leadership of Donald Trump. We can stamp out this virus. It's not about where it started. It's about where it's going. And in order for us to bring it under control, we're going to have to have world help. And I believe Donald Trump is that leader. That's just my opinion. I believe he is the man.

    Sputnik: Arizona on 14 July tallied thousands more confirmed COVID-19 cases as the state again reported an all-time high in hospitalisations due to the disease. The recent article in the Wall Street Journal claimed that – ‘State leaders didn’t prepare when cases were low and are now struggling to cope’. Is it so? How’s the situation right now in Phoenix, for example?

    Jana Jackson: I can only talk about me and Phoenix. And the one thing and I'm a science teacher by trade, so I'm a science teacher. I know that if we have 110 degrees here in Phoenix and you have 75 degrees in another country and this virus is airborne, the temperature is also going to affect your results.

    So let's look at Florida. Florida has a temperature of wet High temperature. Arizona has a wet high temperature. California has a high temperature, but not as high as Arizona. Nevada has sections in which they have high temperatures. So you look at the temperatures compared to what is with this case. There was a time when our temperature was lower. We didn't have as many cases. Our temperature is going to be 110 for three days. They were playing 100 for five or six days. These other states don't. So I think we need to look at the environment in which the virus is. It is travelling in the environment.

    Very, very important, just like the cold virus. How does a cold virus travel now if this virus could live in 30 wind chill factor of 25 or 30 degrees? Chicago would be wiped out. So it just depends. Alaska would be wiped out in certain places. So what we have to do is look at the environment. I'm not a scientist. I'm not sure or what makes the virus mutate, which it did.

    As a science teacher, I know that the environment in which the virus is placed there is going to tell you the conditions you're going to get. And I don't care if The Wall Street Journal said it. Then I say Wall Street Journal, you need to also talk to maybe some of the scientists in the laboratories. And then let's see a unified version of what's really happening. So that's my answer to that. I'm just a science teacher, but I know that viruses and bacterias, these beings travel within an environment. And that's just me. And I'm probably a little bit too among science teacher, whereas people that don't have that science background or don't really think about the environment playing a conditional role to what's happening, then you don't have a lot of people understanding. The Wall Street Journal can say I say get some scientists among the persons who wrote the article because the person who wrote the article has a degree probably in English. Let's get those scientists together and then let's talk about what's really happening here in Arizona. And I know everyone in Arizona is working really hard.

    US Election 2020, United States, racism, Donald Trump, US elections
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