The World and Everything in It — May 7, 2020

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Good morning!

Face masks are now mandatory in some states. But a lot of people are skeptical about how well they work.

NICK EICHER, HOST: In Russia, the coronavirus is also spreading rapidly. We’ll talk to a U.S. missionary about how evangelical churches there are responding.

Plus nine Texas husbands find a creative way to honor their wives for Mother’s Day.

And Cal Thomas on China’s global ambitions.

BASHAM: It’s Thursday, May 7th. The National Day of Prayer! This is The World and Everything in It from WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher.

BASHAM: Up next, Kent Covington with today’s news.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump reverses course on coronavirus task force » President Trump Wednesday reversed course on plans to wind down the White House coronavirus task force. 

One day after the administration suggested the task force could largely complete its work by Memorial Day, Trump said the group will carry on indefinitely.

But it will shift its focus toward safely rebooting the economy and developing a vaccine.

TRUMP: We’ll be adding some people to the task force, and they’ll be more in the neighborhood, probably, of opening our country up because our country has to be open again and people want it to be open. 

A White House official told the Associated Press that the administration acknowledged that its Tuesday announcement about winding down the task force sent the wrong message.

The plan to end the task force sparked concerns that key health officials would be sidelined, though Trump said he would still seek their counsel. 

Payroll report shows 20 million U.S. workers lost jobs in April » A new report from payroll company ADP shed new light on the massive scale of the job losses from coronavirus-related shutdowns. U.S. businesses cut an unprecedented 20 million jobs in April.

Among the hardest hit sectors—hospitality and leisure. According to ADP, they shed almost 9 million workers last month. 

Trade, transportation, and utilities let about three-and-a-half million people go. 

Construction firms—about two-and-a-half million. And manufacturers let go of roughly 1.7 million people. 

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett noted that in January the United States “had the strongest economy ever” before—in his words—getting “hit by the biggest shock ever.”

HASSETT: But economically, I think that as President Trump said yesterday, there’s a solid chance that as we open up, if we do so smartly and safely, that we can get back to having a strong economy quicker than people might think. 

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the losses will likely continue through May, with a recovery in hiring likely to begin in the months ahead.  He said “the good news is that we’re at the apex of the job loss.”

Even so, Zandi said it could take years to recover all of the jobs lost in April and May.

Supreme Court hears arguments in Obamacare contraceptive mandate case » The Supreme Court heard its third day of arguments over the telephone on Wednesday due to the pandemic. 

The first of two cases before them Wednesday dealt with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, which forces most employers to cover birth control at no charge in their insurance plans.

In 2017, the Trump administration announced it would broaden an exemption to the contraceptive mandate for those with religious objections. Lower courts blocked the change, saying the administration was overstepping its authority. 

But Justice Neil Gorsuch said he’s not sure that’s true. 

GORSUCH: The challenge before us is whether the agency has exceeded its statutory authority. And looking at the statute here, it’s about expansive a delegation of statutory authority as one might imagine. 

The nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor are asking the high court to overturn lower court rulings and let the new exemption stand.

But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said allowing broad religious exemptions is unfair to women as it requires them to find other coverage for contraceptives. 

GINSBURG: And if it turns out, as it will for many of them, that there is no other plan that covers them, then they’re not covered. And the only way they can get these contraceptive services is to pay for them out of pocket, precisely what Congress did not want to happen. 

The justices largely sidestepped the main issues in a similar case in 2016. 

Justice Ginsburg hospitalized » Justice Ginsburg participated in yesterday’s arguments from a Baltimore hospital. WORLD’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The court said Wednesday that Ginsberg was hospitalized one day earlier with an infection caused by a gallstone.

The 87-year-old justice underwent non-surgical treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She is said to be resting comfortably and expects to be in the hospital for a day or two.

Ginsberg has been treated four times for cancer, most recently in August, when she underwent radiation for a tumor on her pancreas.

The justice has said she would like to serve until she’s 90, if her health allows.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Grand jury to decide on charges in fatal shooting of Georgia man » A Georgia prosecutor wants a grand jury to decide if criminal charges are warranted in the fatal shooting of a man in the coastal city of Brunswick, Georgia.

Two men pursued and shot 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, later telling police they suspected him of being a burglar. 

Authorities have yet to arrest or charge anyone in the case, prompting an outcry from the NAACP and others. Arbery was black and the men who shot him are white.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper Jones, said her son committed no crime. 

JONES: I do believe that Ahmaud was just out for his daily jog. I have believed that since day one. He’s been doing this for years.

An outside prosecutor assigned to examine the case said a grand jury will hear the evidence, but that won’t happen for more than a month. Georgia courts remain largely closed due to the coronavirus until at least June 13th.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: the debate over wearing face masks.

Plus, Cal Thomas on China’s global ambitions.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Thursday the 7th of May, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Before we get started today, I just want to say thanks to all of you who have sent in special stay-at-home prerolls. It’s really encouraging to hear how you’re making the most of this time and listening to the program!

BASHAM: It really is! I especially love hearing from families who listen together. But no matter who you listen with, we want to hear from you! I’m told our collection of prerolls is starting to run a little low, so if you haven’t recorded one yet, now’s your chance.

EICHER: Just go to and click on the “Engage” tab in the top menu. Then click on “Record a preroll” from the drop-down menu. That will take you to a page that tells you everything you need to know to take your turn introducing the program. Again, that’s

BASHAM: Alright, well first up today: face masks.

At least seven U.S. states now mandate them to mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19. The measures are ramping up as officials prepare to reopen businesses and restart the economy. 

But the trend isn’t without controversy.

EICHER: The recommendations around masks have been a bit nebulous. In Ohio, the governor announced a face mask mandate, only to reverse course the next day. WORLD reporter Maria Baer talked to some of her fellow Ohioans about those conflicting recommendations and brings us this report.


MARIA BAER, REPORTER: Hannah and her husband Dave are walking their new baby around Schiller Park. It’s a charming expanse of grass with a playground and duck pond in Ohio’s capital city, Columbus.

Hannah’s wearing a navy blue cotton mask her mother-in-law made for her. It’s a little too baggy for her petite face. But she does her best to avoid touching it. As she talks, she wiggles her nose every few seconds to jimmy it back into place.

HANNAH: We know these aren’t foolproof, but at least if we can do something to prevent somewhat of the spread…

The masked couple is in the minority at the park this breezy afternoon. Hannah is a doctor and said she and Dave want to set an example.

HANNAH: Also I think it helps, it encourages other people if you see others wearing masks as well, so to normalize mask wearing…

A few days earlier, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced masks would be mandatory for both employees and customers as retail shops across Ohio reopen later this month. He even announced a catchy new slogan the state planned to put on signs:

DEWINE: We’ve summarized it in a little quote: No mask, no work, no service, no exceptions. So every employee will have to have a facial covering…

Other states, local governments, and even entire countries have issued the same order. Citizens in Germany can now face fines of up to $5,000 if they don’t wear a mask in some public spaces. In cities like Birmingham, Alabama, Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston, residents are under similar mandates.

But the day after DeWine announced Ohio’s plan, he changed it.

DEWINE: It’s really become clear to me that a mandatory mask requirement is offensive to some of our fellow Ohioans.

DeWine said officials will still recommend wearing masks. But the state won’t require them. He said he changed his mind in part after talking to a mom with an autistic son. She said he wouldn’t function well with a face covering.

DeWine’s quick course correction is an example of some of the confusion surrounding the use of face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19. In late March, as the U.S. shutdown began, Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Fox News the general public shouldn’t wear them. That was partly to preserve supply but also because they might cause more problems than they’d solve.

ADAMS: There was a study in 2015 looking at medical students, and medical students wearing surgical masks touch their face an average of 23 times… so wearing a mask improperly can actually give you an increased risk of getting the disease.

In a video posted to its website, the World Health Organization still only recommends certain people wear masks.

WHO VIDEO: Masks should only be used by healthcare workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough…

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in early April that everyone wear face masks wherever social distancing is difficult, like the grocery store.

BARBARA: I’ve been drinking this, I’ve got my mask in my pocket!

Barbara and James are walking around a Kroger store in Columbus holding Starbucks cups. They’re not wearing masks. James isn’t convinced they’re effective.

JAMES: But to be fully protected you would have, almost to have to look like you’re a surgeon, you know what I mean.

Still, James and Barbara do have masks. In fact, Barbara made them herself. She cut them out of cotton socks.

BARBARA: I seen it on Facebook. Yeah I got these, and I got like three or four other ones, I was cutting them at home. But when I breathe out, I don’t feel the air coming out.

The CDC recommends face masks be made of 100 percent cotton, but the website also includes instructions on how to make them from old T-shirts if necessary.

Jamea is also shopping at Kroger. She’s not wearing a mask because, well, she doesn’t have one.

JAMEA: Well I’m not really worried about COVID-19, first, and second, I don’t have any extra masks…

Jamea said if there was a mandate to wear masks, she’d happily comply. But for now, she said she feels protected by everyone else wearing theirs.

JAMEA: People know if they’re sick to cover their face, so I guess I’m putting my trust into other people.

Officials have worked hard to bust a common myth about face masks—that they’re meant to protect the wearer from getting the virus. They’re actually meant to stop the wearer from spreading it. That’s an especially important strategy in the fight against a virus that often doesn’t cause any symptoms.

And that message does seem to be taking hold—even among people at Kroger caught mask-less. Mario wasn’t wearing one but promised it was just because he forgot it at home.

MARIO: I’d like to see people wearing them, and I feel guilty that I’m not wearing one…

And he was in the minority that day. Although it wasn’t required, probably 90 percent of shoppers still had their faces covered by everything from a medical grade mask to a construction worker’s dust cover and, of course, Barbara’s sock.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Maria Baer in Columbus, Ohio.

MEGAN BASHAM: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: COVID-19 in Eastern Europe.

NICK EICHER: The coronavirus got a relatively slow start in former Soviet countries, at least according to official media accounts. But even they are now reporting a rapid increase in cases. Russia has reported more than 10,000 new infections each day for the last four days. The country’s official death toll remains low, but outside health experts are skeptical.

BASHAM: So how is the pandemic affecting life in Eastern Europe? Joining us now with some first-hand insight is Eric Mock. He’s vice president of ministry operations for the Slavic Gospel Association. It’s a U.S.-based organization that works with a network of more than 6,000 evangelical churches in Russia and former Soviet states. Thanks so much for joining us today!

ERIC MOCK, GUEST: Well, you’re very welcome and it’s a joy for me to be with you and to share with your listeners about the joy we have in serving the churches in the lands of Russia.

BASHAM: Well, I know you’ve been stuck at home like the rest of us for the last few months. But before travel restrictions went into effect you spent about one-third of each year traveling across Eastern Europe visiting pastors and their churches. So start by telling us a little bit about how they were doing before the pandemic.

MOCK: Well, when we talk about central Asia, when we talk about the war zone in eastern Ukraine, or even far-eastern Russia, what we see is a people that were already impoverished. In the far east of Russia, you find a predominantly pagan people and they still worship the sun, the moon, and the stars, and they live in very difficult situations. And then when you’re talking about the southern stands in central Asia, they were already some of the poorest in the world, just the difficulties they have just putting food on the table. It was all there. And, of course, in the war zone of eastern Ukraine, the infrastructure is all but destroyed. And so even before the virus, they were living in what most people would consider abject poverty.

BASHAM: You have described the outbreak of COVID-19 in Eastern Europe as “the next Chernobyl.” And, for those who don’t know, that’s a  reference to the 1986 nuclear disaster that helped speed the downfall of the Soviet Union. Can you explain how you think that situation compares to the current global pandemic and what you think may come of it?

MOCK: Well, absolutely. There’s a couple factors to consider in this. Initially when Chernobyl happened, at least for the first three to four weeks after the reactor had melted down, there was a sense of cover-up or a sense of silence that went on. And people had really, for the most part, gone on with their lives. Meanwhile, the cloud of radiation continued and the true impact wasn’t recognized until much later. In the same sense, what we’re seeing now as the governments are slow to respond, the probability of a greater impact is there. And so, again, the multiplying factor is a poor healthcare system, already poor economics, and a people being not properly informed about what they’re facing. The families suffer. And what we’re seeing now is that the children are the ones that seem to be the ones that most suffer. And, of course, with the elderly.

BASHAM: Speaking of the children, obviously everyone in Eastern Europe is suffering from the effects of this pandemic. But orphans are especially vulnerable during this time. Can you explain why and what’s happening to them?

MOCK: Absolutely. There are three types of orphanages that you see in those Slavic countries. One is an actual orphanage where the kids are taken away from either having no parents or a parent that has lost their rights. That’s a true orphanage. But there are also temporary locations for children that have been taken away from their parents, or in what they call a boarding school, where they’re still caught up in the courts. These kids that have a living parent but they’re coming from these very troubled and difficult homes under the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve been actually sent back to these homes. And they’re going to homes that are violent. Homes that are impoverished. And we’re even hearing about a child in one region that had made its way back to the police station begging and pleading to go back to an orphanage to where they got a meal every day and they were just in tears because they just didn’t realize how bad their homes were. I just couldn’t imagine a child pleading to go to an orphanage.

BASHAM: You tell these stories and they’re so heartbreaking. But you’ve also noted that there’s an amazing opportunity here for the gospel to spread in places where people may not have been as receptive before COVID-19. Can you tell us what you’re hearing from pastors in the area and how they’re ministering in situations like that?

MOCK: What is very exciting, if I can use the word exciting in the middle of a difficult situation, is that there are many people that are now asking questions. And God has raised up His church, the church that endured under the 70 years of communism, the churches that have been faithful to God’s word and the gospel. So, we don’t have to create anything. We just have to get behind what God is already doing and it’s already beginning to happen.

BASHAM: Erick Mock is vice president of ministry operations for the Slavic Gospel Association. Thanks for joining us today.

MOCK: It was my joy. And many blessings to all your listeners.

BASHAM: And to you also. We’ll be praying for you.

MOCK: Thank you.

NICK EICHER: Highway Patrol trooper Rick Morgan made a traffic stop on Monday that he will not soon forget.

While patrolling the streets of Ogden, Utah, he spotted a car swerving over multiple lanes.

Morgan quickly pulled up behind the car and switched on his overhead lights, but the driver did not respond. He then hit his siren, and the car finally pulled to the side of the road.

MORGAN: I approached the vehicle and I was expecting to find somebody who needed an ambulance and paramedics. I was not expecting to find what I found.

He discovered the car was unmanned—meaning the driver was no man. He was a five-year-old boy.

MORGAN: He was sitting on the front edge of the seat so that he could reach the brake pedal to keep the car stopped while I was standing there.

The boy said his intention was to go buy a Lamborghini and then, as if to prove the point, he pointed to $3 in his wallet. 

A few days ago, a local Lamborghini owner heard the story and treated the boy to a ride in his car, after getting the youngster’s agreement to sit in the passenger seat this time.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Thursday, May 7th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Megan Basham.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. By the way, you’ve got to see the video of that traffic stop I just described. It’s the final item on our video news for kids site at this morning. Just click the little blue “play” icon and that’ll bring up today’s “WORLD Watch News in 3” with Brian Basham.

He’s your favorite anchorman, isn’t he?

BASHAM: He is! And he’s pretty handsome, too.

EICHER: Well, a handsome group of dads in Rockwall, Texas, wanted to do something special this year for their wives for Mother’s Day. They wanted to publicly recognize their dedication as spouse, mom, educator, and, most importantly, disciple-maker.

BASHAM: The men planned a special program to take place at a nice steak restaurant on Mother’s Day. But stay-home orders wiped out the gathering, like so many other special events.

So the husbands have turned to Plan B. WORLD reporter Bonnie Pritchett spoke with three of the men about the special award they are bestowing on their wives this weekend.

ROBERT ROUSE: Katie’s passion for learning, personal dedication, and sacrificial love reflect great credit upon herself, her family, our community, and the Body of Christ.

It would have been a simple yet intentionally public ceremony this Sunday, Mother’s Day. But rolling with the ever-changing tide of social engagement during a global pandemic, the “praise her at the gates” ceremony will take place in their individual homes. There, nine husbands will present their wives with a letter of commendation and the Meritorious Woman Medal.

Yes. A medal.

Moms always appreciate the traditional flowers, dinner out, and homemade cards from the kids. But for Robert Rouse and his friends, it seemed an insufficient expression of their gratitude. So, Rouse, a retired U-S Air Force officer, looked to his military experience for inspiration. Unwittingly, his wife, Katie, gave him the idea. 

ROBERT ROUSE: Every mom, every parent, actually, has those moments when something’s not going well with the kids… And after those really hard days and those moments of frustration and moments of exasperation and my wife Katie would sometimes say, ‘I should get a medal for this!’

DAD AND ISAAC: Isaac, what’s your highs and lows. [Isaac] My first high is that we got to go to a friend’s house…

In the Rouse family school room is a plaque with Robert’s Air Force service medals. Next to that hangs Katie’s lone medal for running a marathon. Robert figures raising their sons ages, 4, 6, and 9, is a marathon worth its own recognition.

After consulting with the other husbands, they created the Meritorious Woman Medal.

The award ceremony was intended as a community event—not just one husband heaping praise on his wife as would be expected on Mother’s Day. The group presentation represented a shared agreement that although the specific accolades on the letter of commendation came from her husband, each woman would be recognized by the community as a one worthy of praise.

Inspiration for the medal’s design and meaning came from another generation during a far more troubling time. 

NEWSCAST: To this group and to a devoted group of organizers up and down the country goes the credit for a stupendous feat—that of assembling women’s voluntary work throughout the kingdom in one concerted drive…

Rouse borrowed some design elements from a medal honoring World War II-era British women. A 2016 BBC headline called them: “The Army Hitler Forgot.”

NEWSCAST: Her majesty, as president, is head of this great voluntary effort which we have described as a democratic organization without officers, without ranks, without pay. Where every member, whatever her task, wears the same badge as her Queen – Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defense…

ROUSE: And that’s exactly the kind of character qualities that we want to bring out and recognize with women who aren’t fighting a war these days but are certainly engaged in a whole lot of self-sacrifice…

Eric Atwood agrees. His wife, Audrey left a career she loved as an emergency room nurse to stay home to raise and educate their three boys and one daughter ages 6 to 15.

ERIC ATWOOD: There’s just so much to it and there’s just so much you leave behind, I think, that I don’t think people really understand…

In 2013, the couple left behind a job in downtown Dallas and bought 50 acres of land east of the metroplex. That same year they began fostering infants. Living off the land didn’t pan out as they hoped, so Eric returned to his work downtown—but they kept the farm. Raising kids is still a work in progress. They adopted one of the children and continued to foster until recently.

In his commendation to Audrey, Eric calls her a pillar of strength, resolve, and love…

ERIC ATWOOD: She has been a pillar of strength, resolve, and love as her household faces the everyday challenges of parenting and unknown difficulties which come from fostering…

David and Shawna Sullivan have also opened their home to the temporarily displaced. Their family of six has grown to 10. Shawna’s sister, husband, and their two small children moved in after the school he was attending shuttered due to the pandemic.

David said Shawna simply “folded in” the extended family members to their daily routines. In his commendation letter David reveals the source of her unflappable character. He writes: “Shawna dedicated her early mornings… 

DAVID SULLIVAN: Shawna dedicated her early mornings to times of prayer, reading of scripture and journaling. These efforts graced her with the capacity to successfully address the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of her bustling home…

But change can be providential. Originally, the Meritorious Woman Medal award dinner was a parents-only affair. Now, Sunday’s presentation in nine individual homes will include an audience of kids ranging in age from 3 to 30.

Who better to watch and hear Dad honor Mom. Wife. Teacher. Disciple-maker. Let Dad praise her in the gates. In the living room. Around the kitchen table. 

David Sullivan, like Robert Rouse and Eric Atwood, isn’t sure his kids will fully appreciate the gesture’s significance.

DAVID SULLIVAN: I think it’s helpful for the kids to see it and hear it as well. They’re young, right. This is not something that will penetrate super deep or be fully appreciated at this age in their life because ‘Mom’s mom. And Mom’s always been awesome to them.’

High praise indeed.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett.

NICK EICHER: Coming up next, an excerpt from tomorrow’s Listening In. This week, Warren Smith talks with former NFL linebacker Derwin Grey. After a six year career in pro football, Gray earned a degree from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Today he’s an apologist and pastor, leading one of the largest and most ethnically diverse evangelical churches in Charlotte, North Carolina.

DERWIN GRAY: When I became a follower of Jesus and the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I developed a passion for theology in the Bible. My grandmother, who had a Jehovah’s Witness background and my Mormon family and friends—cause half of my wife’s family’s Mormon—they would tell my wife and I: “well, you guys are wrong.”

And so as a football player you studied a playbook to play good, I knew, well, if I had a playbook as a football player God must have a playbook and that’s the Bible. And so that’s what developed my heart for apologetics and theology is, it was survival. I had to know what I believed and why. And as we studied theology, we studied apologetics, both my wife and I began to grow in our faith. And one of the things that we noticed early, is that a lot of Christians didn’t know what they believed or why they believed it.

WARREN SMITH: And so, that birthed in you. Ultimately this strong love for apologetics and you ended up studying under Norman Geisler, sort of the grandfather of apologetics. 

GRAY: Yeah, yeah, so in 1998 I came to the Carolina Panthers as a free agent. In 1999 my wife and I became a part of a local church and the pastor introduced me to Dr. Geisler and we sat down over lunch for like three or four hours, and I had read some of his work. And just connected with him and eventually I ended up getting my master’s from Southern Evangelical Seminary. And then I went on to get a doctorate in New Testament, from Northern Seminary in Chicago.

And so I view myself first and foremost as a disciple of Christ but also as a pastor, theologian, apologist. I believe that it’s important to equip the church to understand what they believe and why they believe it—not to win arguments, but to display love and be a part of the kingdom of God on earth.

EICHER: That’s Derwin Gray talking to Warren Smith. To hear the complete conversation, look for Listening In tomorrow wherever you get your podcasts.

NICK EICHER: Today is Thursday, May 7th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Next up, Cal Thomas with a warning from Winston Churchill the United States would be wise to apply to China.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: The destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent demise of the Soviet Union lulled the West into a false sense of security. Many appeared to believe that an age of unending peace and prosperity had been ushered in—even after terrorism emerged as a stateless threat.

Of those who paid attention to the Chinese brand of communism, most saw it as less threatening than the Soviet Union’s version. China seemed content to stay within its borders and without expansionist goals. 

Former Ronald Reagan adviser Constantine Menges explains otherwise in his prescient 2005 book, China: The Gathering Threat. He wrote, “China expects, when it moves to take control of Taiwan, the U.S. will not take any military action, even though President George W. Bush said, ‘We will do whatever it takes to prevent such an event.’ To reduce the chances it would be underestimated, China gave the U.S. its war plan against Taiwan, which included nuclear strikes against American targets.”

Menges goes on to identify “China’s stealthy strategy of geopolitical and economic dominance” as the root of the threat. 

In 1994, China’s leader was Deng Xiaoping, a man many Westerners believed to be a reformer. But he said, “We must bide our time and hide our capabilities.”

What could he have meant? Possibly this as stated by China’s former minister of defense in 1999: “War with the United States is inevitable … the Chinese armed forces must control the initiative … we must make sure that we would win this modern high-tech war that the mighty bloc headed by the U.S. hegemonists may launch to interfere with our affairs.” End quote. 

That’s not just bluster. The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission has reported that China has entertained the threat of nuclear strikes against West Coast cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle. 

On cue, China’s new strategic stealth bomber, known as Xian H-20, is expected to become operational later this year. Press reports say the bomber is expected to double China’s strike capacity. 

The United States has a number of economic options to use as leverage against China, but will it use them before a military confrontation becomes inevitable?

Winston Churchill had a great quote that applies to this situation. Reflecting in 1946 on the reluctance of Britain and the West to take seriously the threat posed by Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, he said, “There never was a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action … but no one would listen. … We surely must not let that happen again.” 

We have been forewarned by history and by contemporary Chinese leaders. Are we listening?

I’m Cal Thomas.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow on Culture Friday: U.S. marriage rates have hit an all-time low. We’ll talk to John Stonestreet about how that’s affecting everything from education to economics.

And, Myrna Brown tells us about how a handful of Christian musicians are shifting their ministries during the coronavirus crisis.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Romans exhorts us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and persistent in prayer.

I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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