COVID-19 Pandemic Raises Threat Of Extremism Worldwide, Awareness Of Outbreak Preparedness, Impacts

Wall Street Journal: Nation’s Top Emergency-Preparedness Agency Focused on Warfare Threats Over Pandemic
“The top U.S. agency charged with preparing for a pandemic and overseeing the medical stockpile spent years bracing for potential attacks on the Korean Peninsula and was ill-prepared for the coronavirus crisis that continues to surge, according to current and former government officials. … But [Robert Kadlec’s agency, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)], which operates within the Department of Health and Human Services, also was supposed to plan for other medical crises, such as a pandemic — an explicit mandate from Congress when it was created 15 years ago. ASPR nevertheless became so mission-driven on possible military threats that it was caught off guard when the coronavirus hit, according to current and former government officials familiar with the planning…” (Armour et al., 7/9).

Washington Post: Covid-19 pandemic is stoking extremist flames worldwide, analysts warn
“…Even as it overwhelms hospitals, covid-19 is also straining security forces in scores of countries, exacerbating long-standing conflicts while fueling grievances and spurring the growth of extremist groups, security officials and analysts say in a series of new studies and interviews. The pandemic is creating new opportunities for the Islamic State and other militants in the Middle East and Africa, where hard-hit local governments are being forced to redeploy security forces to battle the disease, the analyses show. In the United States and other Western countries, meanwhile, far-right extremist groups are building entire propaganda campaigns around it, stoking resentments against an array of supposed villains, from immigrants and ethnic minorities to politicians and health officials…” (Warrick, 7/9).

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