In the midst of a pandemic and a call for a global ceasefire by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Trump administration has reportedly floated the idea of returning to nuclear weapons testing. As a community of health professionals that promotes nuclear weapons abolition, PSR is deeply disturbed by this news. Combined with recent reports regarding the administration’s eagerness to outspend China and Russia on nuclear weapons, and the recent decision to leave another arms control treaty—Open Skies—the Trump administration is displaying a reckless Wild West attitude toward nuclear weapons.
We are only months away from the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Despite the memory of the lives lost 75 years ago, and the current reality of tens of thousands of American lives lost to COVID-19, this administration seems determined to lead us into a new nuclear arms race at a time when our focus needs to be on fighting this deadly pandemic, building our public health infrastructure, and supporting a community-focused economic recovery.
The last thing our government should be focusing on is pouring more resources into weapons that pose an even more dangerous threat to public health. Our doctors need personal protective equipment and test kits, not new nuclear tests.