US intelligence, the Pentagon, and national security officials are closely monitoring how America's rivals and enemies "react" to Thursday night's shock news of President Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, for which he's since said to be exhibiting mild symptoms.
"The U.S. military stands ready to defend our country and its citizens," Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said Friday, according to Politico. "There’s no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces."
"What we are anticipating is that the Russian actors and probably the Iranians will play this up," one anonymous defense official also added. Further the countries of China and North Korea are also being monitored, according to the report.
Specifically US intelligence will scrutinizing any "subtle increase in activity against us, knowing we are preoccupied, and the opportunity to test us, perhaps," Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA Senior Intelligence Service officer, described to Politico.
The former CIA officer emphasized that "Our enemies will see us in a vulnerable state."
And another defense official stated:
“There is always the possibility that adversaries will seek to exploit the information space and talk propaganda...We are definitely monitoring and keeping aware.”
Typically such "monitoring" takes place in foreign media observation rooms set up within most intelligence agency branch HQs, which reports to the chain of command major developments conveyed via foreign state news organizations abroad.
Meanwhile Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who serves on the powerful Committee on Foreign Relations, had this warning for US adversaries:
Any adversary who views news of @POTUS testing positive as an opportunity to test the United States would be making a grave mistake.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 2, 2020
Other commentators wondered about the near future possibility of a 25th Amendment crisis being triggered, transferring head of state powers to the Vice President.
Still others questioned whether the opaque and controversial 'Continuity of Government' protocols, which were subject to post 9/11 discussion and debate in media for a time, might eventually be triggered should the president's health turn dire.