FILE – This file photo provided by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a colorized transmission of the MERS coronavirus that emerged in 2012. Health officials on Friday, May 2, 2014 said the deadly virus from the Middle East has turned up for the first time in the U.S. (AP Photo/National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases via The Canadian Press, File)
One of the most frightening aspects of the Coronavirus was its ability to stop economic activity in its tracks over the past month. The stock market, a leading economic indicator, was the first to get beaten up. As Americans watched the carnage in disbelief, they began postponing vacations, pummeling the travel industry as flights, hotel and cruise ship reservations were canceled. Like a runaway train, this miserable virus continued on to strike the vendors who supply food and services to the travel industry. Gyms and recreational facilities were the next to go. Now, restaurants and bars throughout the country are forced to close their doors. As retailers and other businesses shut down, those who clean and provide services to them will get hit. Ultimately, the financial impact of this crisis will be felt by nearly every American.
The speed with which these changes have occurred can’t possibly be lost on our enemies which may be the scariest thing of all. The Coronavirus, invisible, silent and so easily spread from one person to another, has wreaked havoc in the hardest-hit countries in a very short period of time.
The biggest threat to U.S. national security may no longer be a nuclear strike from a rogue nation. It may be the introduction of a biological toxin or infectious agent intended to kill or incapacitate humans. I don’t pretend to know much about bioterrorism, but as the people who hate us witness how utterly unprepared and ill-equipped we were to handle the Coronavirus, they’ve got to be thinking of the damage they could inflict if they were to deliberately release another virus or a more deadly agent into the U.S. population. Perhaps into our water supply.
Certainly, our enemies have thought along these lines in the past. But, after seeing with their own eyes how effective such a strategy can be, they may begin to focus on it.
Our enemies have become more sophisticated and we mustn’t underestimate them. There’s a host of ways to hurt the U.S. without dropping a bomb.
Putin must have been very happy with the damage he inflicted on the U.S. stock market last week. He refused to agree to OPEC’s proposed oil production cuts knowing it would send oil prices into a free-fall. He was well aware of what a collapse in the price of oil would mean for the global markets. Specifically, he knew it would trigger a new wave of selling on Wall Street, which was already reeling from the effects of the Coronavirus on the economy. The market fell 2,000 points that day.
Although your average terrorist may not be quite as savvy as Putin, the U.S. would be foolish to discount the possibility that they might try to recreate a Coronavirus-like crisis in our country.
Honestly, what could be more effective?