Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty, /Boris SV/GettySome would say coronaviruses are our mortal enemy. After all, tens of millions of Americans have contracted COVID-19 and hundreds of thousands have died. Similarly, tens of millions have lost their jobs and hundreds of thousands of businesses have closed. One estimate puts the total cost of the pandemic at $16 trillion, roughly equal to the nation’s total annual economic output.We have declared war on such foes in the past. President Lyndon Johnson did so on poverty in 1964, President Nixon did the same for cancer in 1971, and Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker declared war on inflation in 1979. In doing so, they implied that such scourges could be vanquished, recalling U.S. victories in the world wars.In some cases, we have in fact achieved what looks like total victory over infectious diseases. For example, smallpox once killed about 30 percent of the people it infected, a far higher rate than the 1-2 percent fatality rate of COVID-19. Centuries ago, smallpox decimated civilizations such as the Aztecs. Yet thanks to a worldwide vaccination program, the World Health Organization declared the disease eradicated in 1980.Read more at The Daily Beast.