Skip to content

JJ Green

National Security Correspondent, WTOP Radio

JJ Green reports daily on international security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism and cyber developments and provides regular on-air analysis. He hosts the weekly podcast Target USA, The Hunt, and conducts in-depth interviews with experts on ISIS, al-Qaida, and the Taliban. He is the recipient of the 2017 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation award and also received a National Edward R. Murrow Award (2009) for Hidden Hunter. He also won the prestigious Associated Press Douglas S. Freeman award for his investigative series, “Dignity Denied”. Green was honored by the University of Maryland, University College as their commencement speaker, in recognition of his broad body of national security reporting accomplishments. He is also a contributor to Jane’s Intelligence Review magazine. JJ Green briefed about how the COVID-19 had impacted our everyday lives. He talked about the lessons that we should be learning while combatting the pandemic, underlined the importance of appreciation. He also underlined that 2020 is a strategic turning point for the global community to facilitate international collaborations to create peaceful, and inclusive societies.

Almost one million people have died from COVID-19, about 5 thousand a day. There are 1440 minutes in each day. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. During the next five minutes, many people will lose their lives to COVID-19. The most important takeaway from the UNGA Conference 2020 is that the time is critical. Every second counts, so the information that we share can save many lives.

As a journalist, who has traveled to foreign war zones many times in the last 15 years, I have seen the toll that pandemics, war, famine and political chaos can take on humanity. However, 2020 is the first time that I lived through it, at home. By the time of the UNGA Conference 2020, the US death toll from COVID-19 had reached 200,000 deaths. Our family members and friends, needlessly in some cases, because of bad information or no information in one of the most developed countries in the world. This experience has made me much more committed to working tirelessly to help bring an end to this pandemic and prevent another from happening.

As racial tension, COVID-19, on-going conflicts, and political chaos test the cohesiveness of our planet and it is time for us to reach deeper. Our world faces unprecedented challenges that; day by day, degree by degree, undermine our ability to perform the vital work of truth-seeking and responsible and inclusive reporting. Those challenges are existential threats to our industry, our constituents and our world. We must work to defeat those challenges, which include distortion of facts and efforts to discredit and harm journalists.

People are dying in the U.S. and around the world because they are confused about what is true and what is not about the spread of COVID-19. People are dying because they cannot get access to the care they need. People are dying because they have lost their jobs, family members to the disease and they’ve lost their hope. We have work to do. This work involves exposing the lies, threats to our safety and security, promoting understanding of them, and helping to create mechanisms to overcome them.

The very fact that UNGA Conference is virtual this year carries with it both the gravity of situation the world faces by being physically cut off from moving freely, engaging in necessary business, governance, security, and health matters. This means that in reality we can still get done most of what needs to be done.

But it comes at a cost that takes more time, patience and real ingenuity. Many of us have had to figure out how to do things that we as a have forgotten how to do. Many of us forgot how to stay home for months at a time. Many of us forgot how to get by without jumping in a car or on a train or a bus to go someplace. Many of us forget how to sit with just our thoughts and imaginations.

COVID-19 has reminded us of all those things. It reminds us that there are people on this planet, even in the best 51 of times, who stay home for months at a time. There are people on this planet that get by without jumping in a car or on a train or a bus to go someplace. There are people on this planet who sit with just their thoughts and imaginations. We, who had so much before COVID-19, have been reminded of the plight of those who live without so many things we take for granted each day. We now know that we must work harder to make sure that they too have every opportunity to succeed in life that we have.

We are aware, 2020 is a strategic turning point for the global community. The UNGA Conference 2020 is in the process of strengthening the response of the international community and facilitating collaboration between UN Member States, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society organizations, towards a common objective of creating peaceful and inclusive societies, where everyone is entitled to undeniable rights, without discrimination.