"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself," tweeted the president on Sunday night, adding that, after the current 15-day shutdown, "we will make a decision as to which way we want to go."

President Trump is said to be privately expressing a deepening concern at the damage the coronavirus shutdown is doing to the U.S. economy and debating whether it can be safely reopened.

Though castigated for his remark, Trump has a point.

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"It's a war," says President Donald Trump of his efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, and likening his role to that of "wartime president."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo welcomed the president's claim to his commander in chief role in the crisis and his resolve: "The president and I agreed yesterday... we're fighting the same war -- and this is a war."

Some measures already taken do call to mind actions in wartime.

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"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time," said Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey to a friend on the eve of Britain's entry into the First World War.

Observing from afar as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the Old Continent, Grey's words return to mind. And as the Great War changed Europe forever, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be changing the way European peoples see each other.

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Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress, told a closed meeting of Senate staffers this week that 70 million to 150 million Americans -- a third of the nation -- could contract the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will likely run near 1%.

Translation: Between 750,000 and 1.1 million Americans may die of this disease before it runs its course. The latter figure is equal to all the U.S. dead in World War II and on both sides in the Civil War.

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"Fortress Europe is an illusion."

So declares the Financial Times in the closing line of its Saturday editorial: "Europe Cannot Ignore Syrian Migrant Crisis."

The FT undertakes to instruct the Old Continent on what its duty is and what its future holds: "The EU will face flows of migrants and asylum seekers across the Mediterranean for decades to come."

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Mike Scruggs