COVID-19 Demonstrates the Need To Change Nuclear Weapon Launch Authority
After President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, he was prescribed powerful steroids. Among other things, this has raised important questions about giving presidents unilateral control over nuclear weapons.
While Congress or military leaders are involved in any other decision to use of military force, the president can legally order a nuclear strike on his own. “Congress doesn’t have any role in this at the moment,” says Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at the Stevens Institute of Technology. “They’re not expected to be consulted.”
Unitary presidential control of nuclear weapons dates from the immediate aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and the practice has been cemented over time. This is partly a product of the general shift toward a stronger executive, and partly just an issue of timing: If the missiles are coming, you can’t call up Congress.
Trump has been given many different medical treatments, among them dexamethasone. According to The Washington Post, this drug’s possible side-effects include “psychic derangements” and “frank psychotic manifestations.”
Article from Latest – Reason.com