White House officials held a series of discussions over the past two years on the possibility of resuming US nuclear testing, according to the former national security adviser John Bolton.
“Certainly the subject was discussed,” Bolton, a fierce advocate of testing, told the Guardian. However, there was opposition from some in the administration who felt current computer-based testing of US warheads was sufficient, and no decision was made by the time Bolton left the White House last September.
When the prospect of the first US underground nuclear test in nearly three decades came up at a White House meeting in May, it triggered an outcry from arms control advocates and a Democratic amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, blocking funding for preparations for a test.
Bolton, who has published a memoir on his time in the Trump White House titled The Room Where It Happened, said the issue was discussed in general terms on a number of occasions while he was national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019.
However, the discussions did not become “operational” as his priority had been to take the US out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
Trump admits pandemic will get worse as daily deaths pass 1,000
Deaths due to Covid-19 surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday for the first time in the US since June 2. The seven-day average for the number of deaths in the country has been slowly rising this month, according to multiple data analyses.
At the White House’s renewed coronavirus daily press briefing yesterday, Donald Trump said that the virus “will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better”, an admission in line with what public health experts have been saying for months. Trump still praised the US response to the pandemic, saying it has been “better than most”.
Public health experts like Dr Anthony Fauci have warned for weeks that the US will see the consequences of ending shutdown orders too soon. As states along the south saw surges in new infections, experts said those states will ultimately see an uptick in deaths.
That fear is becoming a reality as deaths in those states reached almost record-highs on Tuesday. Texas saw 131 deaths while Florida and Arizona both saw 134 deaths – the second highest numbers yet seen for the states. Public health officials said that ICU beds in those states are nearly at capacity with a surge in hospitalizations amid the spikes.