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A Necessary Message from a Past Pandemic

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Thomas Woodrow Wilson - Harris & Ewing Photo Portrait, 1919

Imagine a pandemic at least ten times more deadly and devastating than COVID-19, killing nearly 700,000 Americans – while the President of the United States never once makes a public statement about efforts to stop the slaughter. 

That was the record of Woodrow Wilson during the Spanish Flu outbreak that claimed at least 50,000,000 lives around the world. The pandemic began in 1918, while Wilson was singularly focused on World War I. American soldiers—sailing to European battlefields—definitely helped spread the virus.

President Wilson let mayors handle isolation and mitigation efforts and no federal strategy ever emerged. Whatever one thinks of President Trump’s response in confronting Coronavirus, he unequivocally affirms the need for an activist federal role.

Compared to his predecessor’s monumental failure 102 years ago, Trump deserves credit for his fierce focus on the challenge to health and prosperity, and his efforts to reassure the suffering public nearly every day.

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