“The coronavirus graphically demonstrated that even recognized risks can catch the world off guard. SARS and Ebola had alerted the world to the danger of a zoonotic virus. Just last year, governments and international agencies issued clear and repeated warnings. The U.S. government ran simulations of an outbreak code-named ‘Crimson Contagion’ that highlighted the threat. An international panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization warned explicitly of the pandemic threat to human life and the global economy. Yet when the time came, COVID-19 revealed that governments around the world were largely unprepared and slow to react to a widely anticipated health risk.

“Today, the deteriorating relationship between China and the United States is a major geopolitical risk. The relationship’s protective insulation has been stripped away, nerves are exposed, and the mechanisms for defusing tensions are defunct. Battles rage between Beijing and Washington over trade, technology, investment, supply chains, journalists, and COVID-19. Diplomats, from the U.S. secretary of state to China’s rabid ‘wolf warriors,’ are trading decidedly undiplomatic barbs. Public attitudes toward the other nation have taken a sharp turn for the worse. And China, often a bogeyman in U.S. presidential campaigns, is shaping up as a central issue in the escalating battle between the 2020 candidates…”

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