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At War With a Virus

While war should normally be a policy of last resort, not confronting a determined enemy that poses an imminent threat can be deadly. Putting off the decision to go on the offensive against COVID-19 – treating a war of necessity as a war of choice – has proved extraordinarily costly in terms of lives lost and economic destruction.

NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump has labeled himself a wartime president, and many others around the world are using similar language. It’s a description that raises an obvious question: What does the history and nature of war tell us about fighting a virus?