With Iran, North Korea, and Russia launching attacks against the U.S. in mid-April, it is clear that America’s top adversaries are testing the country’s resolve amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite that, Donald Trump does not believe there is any reason to sound the alarm.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in the U.S. in early February, the country has seen at least 855,000 cases and 47,000 deaths, making it the most hard-hit country in the world. But even as the Trump administration takes on the formidable task of eliminating the virus and grappling with an economic collapse, it remains on guard for potential threats that its global adversaries may pose against its national security.

On Wednesday, Trump sent out a subtle warning on Twitter to suggest that the U.S. continues to be vigilant despite its current situation. “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” he wrote.

Trump’s statement came following the series of attacks made by America’s global opponents earlier this month, while the country was busy imposing targeted measures and concentrating all its energies towards its fight against COVID-19. These attacks include Iranian speed boats swarming U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, a Russian fighter jet buzzing a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the Mediterranean Sea, and North Korea launching an onslaught of missiles from both air and ground.

Whether or not the timing of the attacks was merely coincidental, how the global health crisis has taken its toll on the U.S. economy only proves that Trump was caught off guard by the pandemic. According to Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington, it was the U.S. and not its global opponents that initially viewed the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to gain an advantage over its adversaries. When Iran was first hit by COVID-19 and was seeing hundreds of deaths a day, the U.S. thought it was already winning. Three months since then, however, it is America’s global opponents that are capitalizing on America’s weakness and the conditions created by the pandemic.

Regardless of who is on the losing end of the situation, the coronavirus pandemic proves to be a battleground for the world’s largest economies. Despite America hitting two birds with one stone—fighting the pandemic while ensuring national security—the country makes it a point to move steadily towards preparing itself for the worst.

Following Iran, South Korea and Russia’s attacks, the Pentagon has shifted its footing to remain ready to fight. On April 14, Air Force Lt. Col. Megan Schafer revealed the launch of “Elephant Walk” to showcase the readiness of the U.S. military and its ability to generate combat airpower and ensure regional stability.

As of now, no single country in the world has successfully trounced the outbreak so the battle between America and its opponents is far from over.

The White House outlined details of the immigration plan that President Donald Trump will present to Senate. Photo: Getty Images

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