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Woodrow Wilson dostal chrípku počas pandémie počas mierových rozhovorov prvej svetovej vojny

Woodrow Wilson dostal chrípku počas pandémie počas mierových rozhovorov prvej svetovej vojny


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V noci 3. apríla 1919 začal prezident Woodrow Wilson trpieť násilným kašľom. Jeho stav sa rýchlo zhoršil natoľko, že si jeho osobný lekár Cary Grayson myslel, že prezident mohol byť otrávený. Grayson neskôr opísal dlhú noc strávenú pri Wilsonovom lôžku ako „jednu z najhorších, akými som kedy prešiel. Dokázal som ovládať kŕče kašľa, ale jeho stav vyzeral veľmi vážne. “

Na vine nebol jed, ale rovnaký silný kmeň chrípky prezývaný „španielska chrípka“, ktorý by na celom svete nakoniec zabil odhadom 20 miliónov ľudí, vrátane viac ako 600 000 v USA. Wilsonovu chorobu ešte zhoršilo jej načasovanie - prezident zostal pripútaný na lôžko uprostred najdôležitejších rokovaní svojho života, Parížskej mierovej konferencie o ukončení 1. svetovej vojny.

Pred chrípkou slepá ulička

Na parížske rokovania prišiel Wilson vyzbrojený svojou vizionárskou stratégiou „14 bodov“ na dosiahnutie svetového mieru. Jeho súčasťou boli výzvy na otvorené a transparentné mierové zmluvy, slobodu a sebaurčenie pre všetky európske národy, odzbrojenie a predovšetkým vytvorenie „všeobecného združenia národov“-neskoršie nazývaného Spoločnosť národov-s cieľom aktívne predchádzať všetkým budúcim vojnám.

Ale niektoré časti Wilsonovej povojnovej schémy boli na Parížskej mierovej konferencii, Francúzsko a Veľká Británia, rázne proti iným hlavným mocnostiam. Francúzsky premiér Georges Clemenceau sa otvorene stretol s Wilsonom o úrovni ekonomických trestov, ktoré majú postihnúť Nemcov. Clemenceau požadoval miliardy za odškodné za monumentálne straty francúzskych životov a majetku v nemeckých rukách, ale Wilson chcel ušetriť Nemecko na takom ponížení a namiesto toho sa zamerať na vybudovanie Spoločnosti národov.

V apríli boli parížske rokovania na mŕtvom bode a to bol presne ten moment, keď Wilson ochorel. Prezident bol päť dní zavretý v posteli, bojoval so 103-stupňovou horúčkou a kašľom, zatiaľ čo jeho lekár Grayson klamal novinárom, že nejde o nič iné ako o silnú nádchu.

PREČÍTAJTE VIAC: Americkí prezidenti, ktorí v úrade ochoreli

Neurologické poruchy po chrípke

SLEDUJTE: Španielska chrípka bola smrteľnejšia ako prvá svetová vojna

„Španielska“ chrípka v roku 1918 bola povestná agresívnym útokom na dýchací systém. Infekcia bola najhoršia u mladých a predtým zdravých, ktorých imunitný systém mohol nadmerne reagovať na vírus a utopiť pľúca tekutinou, pričom pacientov zabil v priebehu niekoľkých dní. Ale pre tých, ktorí počiatočný nápor prežili, sa u niektorých objavili aj neurologické príznaky.

Aj keď ich horiace horúčky ustúpili, obete chrípky opisovali „post-chrípkové prejavy“, psychotické bludy a vízie, ktoré boli dôsledkom poškodenia nervového systému, hovorí John Barry, autor knihy Veľká chrípka: Príbeh najsmrteľnejšej pandémie v histórii.

"Najkomplexnejšia štúdia pandémie v roku 1918 poznamenala, aké časté boli neurologické poruchy," hovorí Barry. "Boli druhí len po pľúcach." To zahŕňalo psychózu, ktorá bola zvyčajne dočasná. “

Z mnohých zdrojov vyplýva, že Wilson počas svojho boja s chrípkou na Parížskej mierovej konferencii trpel podobnými účinkami.

"Stal sa paranoidným," hovorí Barry. "Wilson si myslel, že Francúzi majú okolo seba špiónov." Bol bizarne posadnutý svojim nábytkom a svojimi automobilmi a skoro všetci okolo neho si to všimli. “

Wilsonov hlavný uvádzač, muž menom Irwin Hoover, neskôr napísal, že „v [prezidentovej] mysli sa dialo niečo divné“ a že „[žiadna] vec je istá: po tomto malom kúzle choroby nebol nikdy rovnaký.“

Britský premiér Lloyd George prišiel navštíviť Wilsona počas jeho zotavenia v Hôtel du Prince Murat a označil Wilsonov stav za „nervové a duchovné zrútenie“ uprostred vášnivých parížskych rokovaní.

Napriek tomu, že lekári hlásili prípady „psychózy chrípky“ už v čase vypuknutia ruskej chrípky v roku 1889, tento stav, ktorý zvyčajne vymizol sám, neexistoval. Jedna hypotéza je, že neurologická porucha, ktorú zažil Wilson a ďalší, bola spôsobená opuchom mozgu (encefalitídou) spojeným s chrípkou.

Wilson kapituluje v Paríži

Keď bol Wilson konečne natoľko dobrý, že sa mohol znova zúčastniť konferencie, sotva sa podobal na muža, ktorý tak tvrdo bojoval za svoje zásady. Chrípka oslabila jeho telo i myseľ a Wilson jednoducho nemal silu ani vôľu obstáť.

"Dopad bol z môjho pohľadu dosť dramatický," hovorí Barry. „Wilson bol neoblomný a trval na„ 14 bodoch “,„ sebaurčení “a„ mieri bez víťazstva. “Clemenceau ho dokonca obvinil, že je„ pro-nemecký. “Zrazu Wilson padol na všetkých 14 bodov. okrem Spoločnosti národov a len preto, že mu Clemenceau hodil kosť. “

Pre Wilsonov vyjednávací tím v Paríži a jeho priaznivcov doma bola Versaillská zmluva podpísaná v júni 1919 zradou všetkého, čo Wilson zastával, a pripravila pôdu pre ďalší konflikt a smrť na európskej pôde.

William Bullitt, asistent ministerstva zahraničných vecí a lojálny atašé na parížskych rokovaniach, okamžite oznámil svoju rezignáciu.

„Bol som jedným z miliónov, ktorí sebavedomo a bezvýhradne dôverovali vášmu vedeniu a verili, že si neberiete nič iné ako„ trvalý mier “založený na„ nesebeckej a nestrannej spravodlivosti “,“ napísal Bullitt. "Ale naša vláda teraz súhlasila s poskytnutím trpiacich národov sveta novému útlaku, podrobovaniu sa, rozštiepeniu - novému storočiu vojny."

PREČÍTAJTE VIAC: Dlh v prvej svetovej vojne v Nemecku bol tak zdrvujúci, že splatenie trvalo 92 rokov

Väčšina Wilsonových '14 bodov' je opustená

Hodnotenie mladého pobočníka bolo tragicky predvídavé. Historici sa zhodujú, že jednou z hlavných príčin vzostupu nacistickej strany Adolfa Hitlera bolo poníženie a ekonomické zúfalstvo, ktoré na nemecký ľud spôsobila Versaillská zmluva. Versaillská zmluva namiesto ochrany sveta pred budúcimi vojnami pomohla vydláždiť cestu do 2. svetovej vojny.

Zohrala Wilsonova choroba významnú a rušivú úlohu v parížskych mierových rokovaniach? Barry povedal, že to určite malo vplyv.

"Nemôžete úplne dokázať, že by sa na všetko aj tak nedbal, ale ak niečo o Wilsonovi viete, nič v jeho správaní nenasvedčuje tomu, že by bol v takýchto otázkach kompromisom," hovorí Barry. "Práve naopak. Na všetkom tvrdil, že je to „jeho cesta alebo diaľnica“. "

Po návrate do USA sa to pre Wilsona len zhoršilo. Po prvé, Kongres odmietol americkú účasť v Spoločnosti národov, poslednom zostávajúcom zvyšku „14 bodov“, a potom Wilson utrpel oslabujúcu mozgovú príhodu, z ktorej sa nikdy úplne nespamätal.

SLEDUJTE: Posledný deň 1. svetovej vojny na HISTORY Vault


Ako chrípka Woodrow Wilson z roku 1918 a#038 pandémia TrumpVirus z roku 2020 priniesli do USA fašizmus

Pandémia TrumpVirus 2020, ktorá dnes zabíja toľko z nás, má hlboké korene v prvej svetovej vojne a chrípke Woodrowa Wilsona, ktorá vtedy zabila 50 000 000 ľudí.

Spolu s masovou smrťou priniesli oba vírusy do Ameriky fašizmus. Aby sme sa vyhli úplnému opakovaniu, musíme vedieť ako.

Globálnej pandémii pred 102 rokmi sa podobne ako dnešnej katastrofe TrumpVirus dalo takmer úplne vyhnúť. Nebola to nevinná nehoda ani zákon o prírode. Šírilo sa to z fašistických rozhodnutí jedného muža: Woodrowa Wilsona.

Wilson bol zvolený za prezidenta v roku 1912 ako liberálny demokrat. Predal sa ako muž mieru. Bol však (ako Donald Trump) Bielym rasistom podporujúcim KKK. V roku 1915 bezdôvodne poslal americké jednotky, ktoré sa zrútili do Mexico City, aby „poučili“ „našich malých hnedých bratov“.

V roku 1916 Wilson tesne vyhral znovuzvolenie so sloganom „Uchránil nás z vojny“. Potom nás vtiahol dovnútra.

Účasť USA v prvej svetovej vojne bola veľmi nepopulárna. Jeho najznámejším protivníkom bol legendárny socialista narodený v Indiane Eugene V. Debs. Desiatky miliónov robotníkov a odborárov ho videli ako „amerického svätca“. Neúnavný, nepodplatiteľný a charizmatický všade, kde hovoril, pritiahol obrovské davy a mohol sa stať naším prvým socialistickým prezidentom v roku 1920.

Ale 11. septembra 1918 federálni agenti pomocou pochybných diktátorských právomocí uväznili Deba za to, že hovoril proti vojne. „Red Scare“ v štýle Wilsonovho gestapa nezákonne zatkli, napadli a zavraždili nespočetné množstvo miestnych organizátorov, aktivistov a robotníkov. Ozbrojení federálni kriminálnici vtrhli do súkromných domov, zhodili kancelárie a zaútočili na pokojných demonštrantov. Rodiaci sa Federálny úrad pre vyšetrovanie J. Edgara Hoovera zatkol občanov, ktorí pri súkromných rozhovoroch iba kritizovali Wilsona alebo nosili jeho vlastné citáty na transparentoch.

Wilsonov federálny útok na americkú ústavu bol rovnako totalitný ako nacistické ovládnutie Nemecka v roku 1933 alebo čilský puč sponzorovaný CIA v roku 1973. Cieľom bolo zničiť americkú socialistickú stranu, ktorá bola široko uznávaná ako legitímna alternatíva k Demokrati/Republikáni, a aby sa zaručili, Eugene Debs sa nestal prezidentom.

V roku 1920 dostal Gene 900 000 hlasov, keď bol zatvorený vo federálnej väzenskej cele. Keby mal voľnú kampaň a neporušené hnutie zdola, mohol by vykoreniť americký systém dvoch strán a navždy zmeniť naše politické hospodárstvo.

Na slobode však bol aj vírus. V súvislosti s neslávne známou pandémiou „španielskej chrípky“ v roku 1918 zahynulo asi 650 000 Američanov. Rovnako ako Trump v roku 2020 spôsobil jeho šírenie Woodrow Wilson.

Názory na to, kde globálna pandémia vznikla, sa líšia. Vírus, ktorý zabil toľko Američanov, však prepukol na vidieku v okrese Haskell v juhovýchodnom Kansase.

Historik John Barry sa domnieva, že vírus sa mohol preniesť z ošípanej na farmára. Ako sa chrípka šírila, miestny lekár varoval federálnych zdravotníckych úradníkov. Keby ich vojna nerozptyľovala a keby reagovali primeranou lekárskou starostlivosťou, oblasť by sa rýchlo dostala do karantény. Málokto by zomrel. Vírus mohol byť menšou poznámkou pod čiarou.

Wilson však bil vojnové bubny. Mladý farmár priniesol chorobu do armádneho tábora Funston (neskôr Fort Riley) vzdialeného 300 míľ. Úžasne nákazlivý vírus prenikol stiesneným a preplneným táborom s viac ako 50 000 regrútmi. Vojaci, zdravotné sestry a obyčajní občania, ktorí boli ráno chorí, boli často do noci mŕtvi.

Podľa akéhokoľvek štandardu duševného zdravia by tábor a región mali byť okamžite izolované. Ale Wilson bol pekelne naklonený vojne. Jeho narýchlo postavené, absurdne zabalené kasárne sa tiahli celým národom a stali sa perfektnou sieťou na masový chov a šírenie prenosných chorôb. Nespočetné množstvo vojakov naložených do smrteľných vlakov šírilo Wilsonovu chrípku ako požiar. Aj smrteľnejšie lode to vzali do zámoria.

Nespočetné množstvo predtým zdravých mladých mužov a žien bolo položených do masových hrobov alebo do oceánu dlho predtým, ako videli bitku. Pozostalí šíria vírus do Európy, potom do celého sveta. Stalo sa známym ako „Španielska chrípka“, pretože iba Španielsko, ktoré bolo vo vojne neutrálne, otvorene informovalo o hrozných obetiach, ktoré na ich vlastnej pôde stúpali do miliónov.

Wilson zvýšil ante tým, že organizoval hromadné zhromaždenia na predaj vojnových dlhopisov. Vo Philadelphii sa zišlo asi 200 000 ľudí. Potom najmenej 15 000 rýchlo zomrelo. Mŕtvoly boli poukladané v uliciach, kde sa čoskoro potulovali potkany a divé psy. Lekári, rakvy a hroby zmizli, pretože zdravotnícky personál padol mŕtvy. Pozostalé rodiny ukrývali telá doma a potom ich vyhodili do neoznačených masových hrobov.

Ako dnes, v stojatých vodách zničených Trumpovou chorobou, sa samotná civilizácia pohybovala na pokraji kolapsu.

Sám medzi veľkými americkými mestami obmedzil San Francisco počet obetí predčasných úmrtí v roku 1918 maskami a dištancovaním sa od spoločnosti. Keď sa však na jeseň chrípka vrátila, skepsa a únava zvíťazili a mŕtvi sa hromadili.

Zameraná na vojnu, Wilsonova sieť vojenských táborov bola perfektne navrhnutá na šírenie chrípky, ktorú chytil v Paríži v roku 1919. Smrteľne chorý schválil tvrdé nemecké reparácie, ktoré živili vzostup Hitlera. Čoskoro nasledovala mozgová príhoda, ktorá ho oslabila na posledný rok jeho funkčného obdobia. "Šialenstvo," smútil, "vstúpilo do všetkého."

(Chrípku chytil aj námestník ministra námorníctva Franklin D. Roosevelt. Zotavil sa, ale o tri roky neskôr sa stal obeťou detskej obrny a viac nechodil).

Keby Wilson namiesto vojny bojoval s vírusom, asi 675 000 Američanov by bolo ušetrených od ich zbytočných a bolestivých úmrtí. Milióny ďalších sa možno vyhli strašnej chudobe, bolesti a politickému teroru, ktoré prišli so skartovaním sociálnej štruktúry.

O storočie neskôr mohol Donald Trump ušetriť Ameriku aj na jej vírusovej katastrofe.

Pred svojim príchodom Trump rozložil osvedčené agentúry špeciálne navrhnuté tak, aby bojovali s predvídateľnými pandémiami, ako je táto. Keď vírus zasiahol, ignoroval zúfalých lekárov, ktorí ho veľmi výslovne varovali, čo sa má stať.

V snahe zachovať ilúziu prosperujúcej ekonomiky Trump odmietol chrániť verejné zdravie. Nechal minúť životne dôležité zásoby a vybavenie, potom nechal štáty bojovať za ne. Propagoval nevyskúšané liečebné postupy, ako je hydroxychlorochin (do ktorého má osobné investície), obhajoval pitie bielidla a útočil na Obamacare a ďalšie životne dôležité poistné programy.

Rovnako ako Wilsonovej pandémii sa dalo vyhnúť takmer všetkej chorobe Trump-COVID, smrti a ekonomickému zničeniu.

Trumpovo zhubné zanedbávanie doteraz nezabilo 650 000 Američanov. Ale môže sa tam ešte dostať s rýchlou eskaláciou počtu obetí tým, že bude požadovať „bežný priebeh“ bez rozumných predbežných opatrení.

Rovnako ako počas prvej svetovej vojny sú USA opäť na pokraji transformácie. Samozvaný socialista Bernie Sanders, ktorý je poháňaný Millennials, získal v primárkach 2016 a 2020 tucetkrát viac hlasov ako Debs pred storočím.

V reakcii na to, podobne ako Wilson, požaduje Trump diktátorské právomoci. Autoritatívny režim, fašistické jednotky smrti, nezákonné útoky, nezákonné uväznenie, pomstychtivá odplata, ozbrojení pouliční lupiči, „konečné riešenie“ proti imigrantom a fašistická železná päsť-to všetko je na zozname prianí Trumpa.

Rovnako ako pandémia Woodrowa Wilsona, dnešná nočná mora TrumpVirus ničí naše zdravie, zabíja našich príbuzných, ničí srdce našej právnej infraštruktúry, dušu našej sociálnej štruktúry a to, čo zostalo z našej zničenej civilizácie.

Ak je toto historický rým Mark Marka Twaina, nevyžaduje to nič iné ako epickú transcendentnú odpoveď ... bez ktorej by náš národ a náš druh mohli dobre zahynúť.


Woodrow Wilson dostal chrípku počas pandémie počas mierových rozhovorov o prvej svetovej vojne - HISTÓRIA

BIDEN Chystáme sa do temnej zimy. [KONIEC KLIP]

BROOKE GLADSTONE Z WNYC v New Yorku, toto je On the Media, ja som Brooke Gladstone. Na tohtotýždňovej šou si pamätáme, ako sa na jeseň roku 1918 španielska chrípka revala s podobnou pomstou a podobne nesúrodými a nekonzistentnými radami štátnych úradov verejného zdravotníctva.

JOHN BARRY Existujú ľudia, ktorí zomierajú 24 hodín po prvých príznakoch. Ľudia veľmi rýchlo vedia, že im klamú. Strácajú všetku dôveru v autoritatívne klebety a šíri sa panika.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Navyše, ako a prečo si Amerika vždy nárokovala vlastníctvo diela britského Willa Shakespeara.

JAMES SHAPIRO Je to výbušné. Je potenciálne toxický. Ale práve preto sa nám prihovára. Chápeme.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Všetko sa to chystá, potom.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Z WNYC v New Yorku, toto je On the Media. Bob Garfield je tento týždeň vonku, ja som Brooke Gladstone. Túto hodinu sa chystá veľa histórie, niekoľko sladkých, najkyslejších, skoro všetko fascinujúcich a všetko smerujúcich k neodvratnému záveru, parafrázujúc Samuela Becketta, že slnko svieti a nemá nič iné ako nič nové. Začíname tým, že nás tento víkend vďakyvzdania stále straší.

NOVINOVÁ SPRÁVA Hospitalizácia v celej krajine sa od konca septembra takmer zdvojnásobila. Niektoré nemocnice už hovoria o racionálnej starostlivosti.

NOVÁ SPRÁVA Nové prípady, takmer trojnásobok dennej sadzby, ktorú sme zaznamenali len pred niekoľkými týždňami. 44 štátov hlási nárast za posledný týždeň. Úmrtia tiež stúpajú. [KONIEC KLIP]

BIDEN Chystáme sa prejsť do temnej zimy, temnej zimy. [KONIEC KLIP]

BROOKE GLADSTONE Vražedná druhá vlna je pred nami. Rovnako ako sa španielska chrípka vrátila k hrozbe na jeseň roku 1918. Nakoniec táto chrípka zabila viac ako 50 miliónov ľudí na celom svete, vrátane najmenej 675 000 Američanov. Napriek tomu prezident Woodrow Wilson nikdy neriešil stratu národa. Prvá vlna, ktorá zasiahla európske bojiská prvej svetovej vojny, bola na jar. Nemci, Briti, Francúzi a takmer všetci ostatní, pretože nechceli vyzerať slabí, držali mamu. O tomto a oveľa viac sme sa tento rok rozprávali s Johnom Barrym, autorom knihy Veľká chrípka Príbeh najsmrteľnejšej pandémie v histórii. Povedal nám, že o tom hovorili iba noviny v neutrálnom Španielsku, podľa čoho dostala chrípka meno.

JOHN BARRY Španielsko nebolo vo vojne, takže to tak nebolo, možno preto, že ochorel samotný kráľ. Takže sa o tom veľa tlačilo a dostalo názov Španielska chrípka. Bol inde dobre zavedený, než dorazil do Španielska.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Vieme, že sa na našich brehoch šíril mimo kontroly z vojenskej základne mimo Bostonu. Správny?

JOHN BARRY To bolo prvé miesto, ktoré druhá vlna zasiahla v USA, myslím tým, že vírus sa v prvej vlne zjavne zmenil, bol vo všeobecnosti mierny. V skutočnosti existovali články z lekárskych časopisov, ktoré hovorili, že to vyzerá a vonia ako chrípka, ale nezabíja dostatok ľudí, takže chrípka to pravdepodobne nie je.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Došlo k mutácii medzi prvou a druhou vlnou?

JOHN BARRY Takmer určite. Myslím tým, že to nemôžeme dokázať prostredníctvom molekulárnej biológie, ale epidemiologicky sa to zdá celkom isté.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Na celom svete sa nakazilo 50 až 100 miliónov ľudí. To by sa rovnalo, keby ste sa dnes upravili na populáciu niekde medzi 200 a 400 miliónmi. V USA zomrelo 675 000 ľudí

JOHN BARRY Odhaduje sa, že bolo zasiahnutých 28 percent americkej populácie.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Druhá vlna tu bola najsmrteľnejšia. Bolo to na jeseň 1918, tesne na konci vojny. Čo by sme však videli, keby sme na jeseň 1918 otvorili miestne noviny?

JOHN BARRY Veľa vojnového spravodajstva, ale veľmi málo o pandémii. Wilson vytvoril niečo, čo sa nazýva Výbor pre verejné informácie, propagandistická zložka, a architekt tohto výboru povedal, že pravda a lož sú biblické pojmy, ale je to veľmi málo, ak je to pravda alebo lož. Taký bol postoj vládneho propagandistického stroja. Prijal tiež zákon, ktorý umožňoval 20 rokov väzenia za citovanie, objednávanie, tlač, písanie alebo publikovanie a nelojálny, šteklivý, vulgárny alebo urážlivý jazyk bývalej vlády USA.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Toto bol zákon o poburovaní z roku 1918, však?

JOHN BARRY Áno, kongresman bol za tento čin odsúdený na viac ako 10 rokov väzenia. Vydavateľom teda hrozilo. Sám Wilson v jednom bode povedal bratrancovi, vďaka bohu za Abrahama Lincolna, neurobím chyby, ktorých sa dopustil, a umožnil tak rozkvet slobodnej tlače počas občianskej vojny.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Ale Lincoln zatvoril 300 novín!

JOHN BARRY Veľa negatívnej tlače o ňom v kampani na znovuzvolenie v roku 1864. A znova, keď sa vrátim k tomu výboru pre informovanie verejnosti, chlapík, ktorý kandidoval, ktorý George Creel chcel vytvoriť, citát, jednu bielu horúcu hmotu s bratstvom, oddanosťou, odvahou a nesmrteľnosťou rozhodnosť. Naozaj sa snažili prinútiť Američanov prispôsobiť sa tomuto jednému spôsobu myslenia. Myslím, že sme to nikdy predtým ani potom nezažili. Viac ako v období McCarthyho, viac ako v ktoromkoľvek inom červenom strašení, bola tlač odhodlaná byť rovnako patriotická ako ktokoľvek iný. Napríklad Cleveland Plain Dealer napísal: Čo národ požaduje, aby bola zrada, či už tenko zahalená alebo celkom nezakrytá, zradou. Mohol by som pokračovať a uviesť vám ďalšie príklady. Viete, mali ste na jednej strane mrkvu, myšlienku, že tlač mala byť vlastenecká a mala inšpirovať ľudí k pomoci vo vojnovom úsilí, a na druhej strane ste mali palicu toho zákona o poburovaní, takže Výsledkom bolo spravidla veľmi kooperatívne a uspokojujúce stretnutie, v ktorom boli v skutočnosti falošné správy, pretože spolupracovali s vládnou líniou.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Celá táto intenzita sa však použila aj na pokrytie chrípky náhubkom.

JOHN BARRY Presne tak. Existovala obava, že akékoľvek negatívne správy, bez ohľadu na to, o čo ide, poškodia vojnové úsilie poškodením morálky.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Ale určite existovali výnimky. Príspevok Jefferson County Union vo Wisconsine - hovorili ste o tom?

JOHN BARRY Správne, keď tam zasiahla pandémia a začali o nej hovoriť pravdu, hrozilo im stíhanie podľa zákona o poburovaní. V tej dobe nebol žiadny Tony Fauci. Jeden národný líder v oblasti verejného zdravia, ktorého citovala agentúra Associated Press, uviedol, že nejde o bežnú chrípku iného mena. Ďalší povedal, že takzvaná španielska chrípka nie je nič viac alebo menej ako staromódny grippe.

BROOKE GLADSTONE To znie trochu povedome.

JOHN BARRY Áno, pár kilometrov mimo Little Rock bol Camp Pike. Za štyri dni bolo do nemocnice prijatých 8 000 vojakov. Veliteľ tábora prestal zverejňovať mená mŕtvych. Lekári tam napísali kolegovi: Každá chodba, a sú ich kilometre, má dvojitý rad detských postieľok s chrípkovými pacientmi. Existuje iba smrť a zničenie. Tábor vyzval Little Rock, aby zásobil civilných lekárov a sestry, posteľnú bielizeň a rakvy, a Arkansas Gazette, vzdialeného len niekoľko kilometrov, vo svojom titulku píše, cituje, španielska chrípka hrá Grippe, rovnakú starú horúčku a zimnicu. V podstate sa vám všade deje to isté. Napríklad mestský zástupca v Des Moines v Iowe bol súčasťou núdzového výboru, ktorý písal reakciu na chrípku. Napísal vydavateľstvo, citát, odporučil by som, aby sa čokoľvek, čo sa týka choroby, vytlačilo alebo obmedzilo na jednoduché preventívne opatrenia, skôr niečo konštruktívne než deštruktívne, bez citácie. A samozrejme, viete, to so sebou nesie potenciál pre trestné stíhanie.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Čo bolo konštruktívne a čo deštruktívne v tejto formulácii?

JOHN BARRY Usmernenia v oblasti verejného zdravia, ako napríklad nechať otvorené okná, vyhýbať sa davom ľudí, umývať si ruky a podobne - to by sa považovalo za konštruktívne. Tlač správ o tom, čo sa deje, bola v skutočnosti deštruktívna.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Hmm. Mali ste tiež pozoruhodné podrobnosti o zákone o špionáži, ktorý sa týkal pošty.

JOHN BARRY Správne, a poštmajster nedovolil nič negatívne a to, čo považovali za negatívne, bola pri mnohých príležitostiach vlastne len pravda. Všetko, čo považujú za depresívne pre morálku. Vtedy boli samozrejme mnohí v spravodajských médiách distribuovaní výlučne prostredníctvom pošty. Takže to skutočne úplne umlčalo vydavateľov a efektívne ich vyradilo z prevádzky.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Zdá sa, že byť Američanom je strašidelné obdobie.

JOHN BARRY Bola to násilná, desivá choroba. Ľudia sa mohli z nedostatku kyslíka zmeniť na tmavomodrú, ale citoval som jedného lekára, ktorý písal kolegovi, že nedokázal rozlíšiť afroamerických vojakov od bielych vojakov, pretože ich bledosť bola taká podobná. V niektorých táboroch krvácalo z nosa 15 percent vojakov s touto chorobou. Ale môžete tiež krvácať z úst a môžete krvácať aj z očí a uší. A keď im niekto povie, že ide o bežnú chrípku iného mena, ľudia zomierajú 24 hodín po prvých príznakoch. Ľudia veľmi rýchlo vedia, že im klamú. Stratia všetku dôveru v autoritu, šíria sa chýry a panika. Vedie k roztriešteniu spoločnosti a najhorším prípadom takmer k rozpadu spoločnosti.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Kontrastujete s mestami Philadelphia a San Francisco.

JOHN BARRY Extrémnym príkladom môže byť Philadelphia. Doslova tisíce ľudí zomierajú a nakoniec oneskorene zatvorili školy, bary, divadlá a podobne, a nakoniec tento čin urobili. Jedna z Philadelphských novín skutočne citovala: „Toto nie je opatrenie verejného zdravia. Nemáte dôvod na paniku alebo poplach, citát, absurdné. Samozrejme, nebudete veriť ničomu, čo čítate, tomu papieru alebo novému dokumentu. Vo Philadelphii sa spoločnosť takmer začala rozpadať. Existujú správy o ľuďoch, ktorí umreli od hladu, pretože nikto nemal odvahu priniesť im jedlo. Naopak, v San Franciscu, starosta, vedúci zdravotníctva a vedúci predstavitelia odborov, odborári, všetci vedúci odborov podpísali spoločné vyhlásenie obrovského typu na úplnej stránke novín, v ktorom sa uvádza, že noste masku a zachráňte svoj život. Ukázalo sa, že tieto mapy neboli príliš užitočné. Ale to je veľmi, veľmi odlišná správa, ako je to bežná chrípka s iným názvom. San Francisco fungovalo. Zdá sa, že sa to spojilo, keď sa školy zavreli, učitelia sa hlásili ako dobrovoľní vodiči sanitiek, čo je, samozrejme, dosť riskantné. Porovnajte to s Philadelphiou, kde ľudia mohli zomrieť od hladu, pretože nikto nemal odvahu priniesť im jedlo. Myslím si, že to priamo súvisí s tým, že ľuďom bolo povedané pravdu a vedenie dôverovalo verejnosti. Philadelphia aj San Francisco boli touto chorobou mimoriadne ťažko zasiahnuté. San Francisco je v krajine zhruba na piatom mieste, pokiaľ ide o nadmernú úmrtnosť, ktorá bola približne rovnaká ako vo Philadelphii. Ale v jednom meste môžete vidieť absolútne roztrieštenie spoločnosti. A v druhom meste vidíte, ako sa komunita stretáva a pomáha si navzájom.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Woodrow Wilson dostal chrípku. Výsledkom bola intenzívna dezorientácia, znížené mentálne fungovanie. To bol symptóm tejto konkrétnej pandémie. V úplne zlom čase.

JOHN BARRY Viete, bolo zaznamenané, že ľudia boli extrémne dezorientovaní a v niektorých prípadoch psychotickí a zotavili sa. Wilson pri rokovaní o mierovej zmluve v Paríži ochorel. Všetci okolo neho od Erwina Hoovera, ktorý bol dôstojníkom Bieleho domu, ku ktorému sa vyjadril Herbert Hoover, ako ho nikdy takto nevideli. Jeho myseľ nefungovala. Nemecké územia boli v podstate postúpené Francúzsku. Francúzsku bolo umožnené ekonomicky skúmať nemecké oblasti. Nemecku sedeli obrovské reparačné platby. A v podstate každý historik vzostupu nacistov pripisuje alebo viní túto mierovú zmluvu za časť vzostupu Hitlera a následne druhej svetovej vojny. John Maynard Keynes označil Wilsona po tejto mierovej konferencii za najväčší podvod na Zemi.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Najväčší podvod na Zemi. Wilson však nikdy nehovoril o chrípke, však? Pozeráme sa na novinové účty, ktoré sú náhubkové a zmätené. Čo ste dokázali zistiť o tom, ako ľudia chápali, čo sa deje alebo ako smútili za mŕtvymi alebo sa snažili chrániť?

JOHN BARRY Bol to veľmi seriózny vedec Victor Vaughn, ktorý sa počas vojny stal plukovníkom, vedúcim divízie prenosných chorôb v armáde. A práve vo výške, ktorú napísal, súčasná rýchlosť zrýchľovania pokračuje ešte niekoľko týždňov, civilizácia by mohla ľahko zmiznúť z povrchu Zeme. Takto zle sa začínalo stávať, že sa práve na vrchole veci začali zlepšovať.

BROOKE GLADSTONE A čo umelci? Prozaici? Vieme, že Katherine Ann Porter napísala Pale Horse, Pale Rider, ale zdá sa, že veľa toho nenapísali pozorovatelia, dokonca ani preživší.

JOHN BARRY Viete, to ma vždy miatlo, nedostatok literatúry o tom. Napriek tomu je to jasne v mysli verejnosti. Christopher Isherwood bol v Berlíne v Berlíne, príbehy, z ktorých prišiel veľký film Kabaret, keď nacisti vstúpili do Berlína. Hovorili ste, že to môžete cítiť ako chrípku v kostiach. Tento druh pocitu hlbokej hrôzy, a to je 15 rokov po pandémii. Určite ste čakali, že títo čitatelia spoznajú hrôzu, o ktorej má na mysli. Takže to tam bolo, aj keď ľudia o tom nepísali.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Existovalo obdobie generácií, kde sa o epidémii bežne nehovorilo. Nemyslím si, že som bol výnimkou z pravidla. Vedeli sme viac o bubonickom móre, než sme vedeli o pandémii v roku 1918. Ako to zaúčtujete?

JOHN BARRY Viete, bolo to také rýchle. To k tomu patrí. Pravdepodobne dve tretiny úmrtí na celom svete nastali v období 14 alebo 15 týždňov. A v akejkoľvek danej komunite to bola zhruba polovica tohto času. Chrípka postihne mesto za šesť týždňov, sedem týždňov a osem týždňov neskôr. Viete, podľa toho, kde to mesto bolo, mohla byť tretia vlna, ale to príde o niekoľko mesiacov neskôr. A tretia vlna bola stále dosť smrteľná, ale nebolo to nič v porovnaní s druhou vlnou. Mali ste túto neuveriteľnú stručnosť a život sa do značnej miery rýchlo vrátil do normálu a končil sa takmer súčasne s koncom vojny. 11. novembra ľudia v mnohých mestách oslavujú prakticky až do okamihu, keď vychádzali zo zámku. Takže teraz hovorím, vidím časť zábudlivosti, okrem tých, ktorí osobne trpeli. Dve tretiny mŕtvych boli ľudia vo veku 18 až 45 rokov a starší ľudia takmer vôbec netrpeli. Ale deti mladšie ako päť rokov zomierali rýchlosťou, ktorá je dnes rovnaká ako všetky príčiny, na 23 rokov. Len na to mysli. Deti, ktoré dnes zomierajú na všetky príčiny v priebehu 23 rokov, sa skrátili na niekoľko týždňov v roku 1918 a mysleli na daň, ktorá by si vyžiadala rodičov.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Ale musím sa vás opýtať, 675 000 mŕtvych v USA upravených podľa počtu obyvateľov, to by boli dva milióny. Áno. A napriek tomu, keď bolo po všetkom, bol niekedy moment národného smútku? Bol niekedy postavený pomník mŕtvym? Uznávalo sa niekedy, ako je tá obrovská tragédia?

JOHN BARRY Čo sa týka individuálnej spomienky? Áno, pamätám si, ako som svojej tete, ktorá mala počas pandémie asi 10 rokov, hovoril, čo som robil a ona sa v podstate chytila ​​za hrudník, prakticky začala plakať. Nebolo to niečo, na čo jednotlivci zabúdali. Ako spoločnosť nie. Rozmýšľal som o tom 20 rokov a nedostalo sa mi slušného vysvetlenia.

BROOKE GLADSTONE Ďakujem veľmi pekne.

JOHN BARRY Ďakujem.

BROOKE GLADSTONE John Barry je autorom knihy The Great Influenza The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History a profesorom na Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Tento rozhovor sme najskôr odvysielali v prvej fáze. Ide o niečo nové a úplne iné, vzťah Shakespeares Rough-and-ready s americkou históriou. Toto je v médiách

Autorské právo a kópia 2020 New York Public Radio. Všetky práva vyhradené. Navštívte náš web podmienky používania o www.wnyc.org for further information.

New York Public Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline, often by contractors. Tento text nemusí byť vo svojej konečnej podobe a môže byť v budúcnosti aktualizovaný alebo revidovaný. Presnosť a dostupnosť sa môžu líšiť. The authoritative record of New York Public Radio&rsquos programming is the audio record.


In 1918, the flu infected the White House. Even President Wilson got sick.

In the fall of 1918, as President Woodrow Wilson scrambled to end World War I, the flu pandemic began its lethal march across the country, killing at least 675,000 Americans over the next two years.

Churches were closed. Public dance halls were shuttered. No corner of the nation’s capital was spared — not even the White House.

On Friday, President Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have contracted the novel coronavirus, the deadliest pandemic since the 1918 flu.

Trump — who has repeatedly played down the risks of the virus and eschewed the masks his own scientists recommend — was diagnosed after one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive.

In 1918, Wilson’s personal secretary was among the first in his administration to be sickened. Margaret, his eldest daughter, got it. Secret Service members did, too. Even the White House sheep were not spared.

Also not spared: the president of the United States.

In April 1919, Wilson traveled to the Paris Peace Conference for talks on ending the Great War. Soon after arriving, the president become ill with a fever and violent fits of coughing that left him nearly unable to breathe.

Wilson's condition deteriorated so quickly that his personal doctor, Cary T. Grayson, thought he had been poisoned.

“But it soon became obvious the diagnosis was simpler, if only marginally more reassuring,” wrote John Barry in “The Great Influenza.”

Wilson was so ill that the talks were nearly derailed. The president could not even sit up in bed.

In a hand-delivered letter to Wilson’s chief of staff back in Washington, Grayson wrote that the night Wilson became ill “was one of the worst through which I have ever passed. I was able to control the spasms of coughing but his condition looked very serious.”

Wilson's administration worked furiously to keep Wilson's diagnosis a secret. Grayson told reporters that Wilson had a cold and just needed some rest, blaming the president's illness on the rainy weather in Paris.

Meanwhile, Wilson’s condition worsened. And he began acting strange.

“Generally predictable in his actions, Wilson began blurting unexpected orders,” A. Scott Berg wrote in his biography of Wilson. “Twice he created a scene over pieces of furniture that had suddenly disappeared,” even though the furniture had not moved. Wilson also thought he was surrounded by spies.

Wilson’s entourage was worried — not just about his illness, but also about the talks falling apart because of what the illness was doing to his behavior.

Barry recounts how in a meeting at Wilson’s bedside, he told negotiators: “Gentlemen, this is not a meeting of the Peace Commission. It is more a Council of War.” Barry described a frightening portrait of a president:

The talks went on, with Wilson relying on deputies before he could return to face-to-face talks. Ultimately, he yielded to several French demands that he had previously said were nonnegotiable. The president fully recovered, only to be stricken by a major stroke a few months later.

In the years since Wilson’s death in 1924, scholars have debated whether he actually suffered a stroke during the conference — not the flu.

Barry opposes those theories. Wilson’s symptoms, which included “high fever, severe coughing, and total prostration,” Barry wrote, “perfectly fit influenza and have no association whatsoever with stroke.”


In 1918, the flu infected the White House. Even President Wilson got sick.

Churches were closed. Public dance halls were shuttered. No corner of the nation's capital was spared - not even the White House.

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have contracted the novel coronavirus, the deadliest pandemic since the 1918 flu. Trump - who has repeatedly played down the risks of the virus and eschewed the masks his own scientists recommend - was diagnosed after a top aide, Hope Hicks, tested positive.

In 1918, Wilson's personal secretary was among the first in his administration to be sickened. Margaret, his eldest daughter, got it. Secret Service members did, too. Even the White House sheep were not spared.

Also not spared: the president of the United States.

In April 1919, Wilson traveled to the Paris Peace Conference for talks on ending the Great War. Soon after arriving, the president become ill with a fever and violent fits of coughing that left him nearly unable to breathe.

Wilson's condition deteriorated so quickly that his personal doctor, Cary T. Grayson, thought he had been poisoned.

"But it soon became obvious the diagnosis was simpler, if only marginally more reassuring," wrote John Barry in "The Great Influenza."

Wilson was so ill that the talks were nearly derailed. The president could not even sit up in bed.

In a hand-delivered letter to Wilson's chief of staff back in Washington, Grayson wrote that the night Wilson became ill "was one of the worst through which I have ever passed. I was able to control the spasms of coughing but his condition looked very serious."

Wilson's administration worked furiously to keep Wilson's diagnosis a secret. Grayson told reporters that Wilson had a cold and just needed some rest, blaming the president's illness on the rainy weather in Paris.

Meanwhile, Wilson's condition worsened. And he began acting strange.

"Generally predictable in his actions, Wilson began blurting unexpected orders," A. Scott Berg wrote in his biography of Wilson. "Twice he created a scene over pieces of furniture that had suddenly disappeared," even though the furniture had not moved. Wilson also thought he was surrounded by spies.

Wilson's entourage was worried - not just about his illness, but also about the talks falling apart because of what the illness was doing to his behavior.

Barry recounts how in a meeting at Wilson's bedside, he told negotiators: "Gentlemen, this is not a meeting of the Peace Commission. It is more a Council of War." Barry described a frightening portrait of a president:

"Colonel Starling of the Secret Service noticed that Wilson 'lacked his old quickness of grasp, and tired easily.' He became obsessed with such details as who was using the official automobiles. When Ray Stannard Baker was first allowed to see Wilson again, he trembled at Wilson's sunken eyes, at this weariness, at his pale and haggard look, like that of a man whose flesh has shrunk away from his face, showing his skull."

The talks went on, with Wilson relying on deputies before he could return to face-to-face talks. Ultimately, he yielded to several French demands that he had previously said were nonnegotiable. The president fully recovered, only to be stricken by a major stroke a few months later.

In the years since Wilson's death in 1924, scholars have debated whether he actually suffered a stroke during the conference - not the flu.

Barry opposes those theories. Wilson's symptoms, which included "high fever, severe coughing, and total prostration," Barry wrote, "perfectly fit influenza and have no association whatsoever with stroke."

How did Wilson's illness affect world civilization? Would the peace terms have been different? Would the war have gone on?

"No one can know what would have happened," Barry wrote. "One can only know what did happen. Influenza did strike Wilson."


Trump isn't the first sitting U.S. president to contract a potentially deadly virus in the middle of a pandemic — so did Woodrow Wilson in 1918

President Donald Trump announced Friday that he has tested positive for Covid-19, and he isn't the first sitting president to contract a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus in the middle of a pandemic.

Former President Woodrow Wilson became ill with the 1918 flu when he was in Paris in April 1919 organizing a peace treaty and the League of Nations following World War I.

Wilson wasn't a healthy man and "always frail," said Howard Markel, a physician and medical historian at the University of Michigan. He would go on to have symptoms such as headache, high fever, cough and runny nose, Markel said. Many of Wilson's aides would also contract the flu, including his chief of staff, he added.

Trump tweeted overnight that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus after the White House confirmed that aide Hope Hicks had tested positive and had some symptoms.

Trump was experiencing "mild symptoms" after testing positive for the coronavirus, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows confirmed to reporters Friday morning. The announcement came hours after the administration confirmed that White House aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus.

For Wilson, the virus "took its toll on him," Markel said. "That can have neurologic and long-term complications. And he was already at the time traveling and living on a train and giving five to 10 speeches a day. That's not healthy."

When he got back to the United States, Wilson went on a whistle-stop tour to get the League of Nations ratified, which ultimately failed, Markel said. While on his tour, Wilson became thinner, paler and more frail, Markel would write in a column. He lost his appetite, his asthma grew worse and he complained of unrelenting headaches, he added. He would later have a bad stroke.

"His wife basically took over the presidency after that," he added.

Many infectious disease experts and medical historians have drawn other parallels between 1918 and today. Schools and businesses were also closed and infected people were quarantined a century ago. People were also resistant to wearing face masks, calling them dirt traps and some clipped holes so they could smoke cigars.

Several U.S. cities implemented mandates, describing them as a symbol of "wartime patriotism." In San Francisco, then-Mayor James Rolph said, "[C]onscience, patriotism and self-protection demand immediate and rigid compliance," according to influenzaarchive.org, which is authored by Markel. But some people refused to comply or take them seriously, Markel said.

"One woman, a downtown attorney, argued to Mayor Rolph that the mask ordinance was ➫solutely unconstitutional' because it was not legally enacted, and that as a result, every police officer who had arrested a mask scofflaw was personally liable," according to influenzaarchive.org.

As with Trump, some reports and historians have suggested that Wilson downplayed the severity of the virus. But Markel said that is a "wrong and a false trope of popular history."

The federal government played a very small role in American public health during that era, he said. Unlike today, there was no CDC or national public health department. The Food and Drug Administration existed, but it consisted of a very small group of men.

"It was primarily a city and state role, and those agencies were hardly downplaying it," Markel said.

Unlike today, Wilson did not get sick during his reelection, Markel said. He said the public needs to know "how healthy or how not healthy" Trump is before the election on Nov. 3.

"When you're voting for a president now, you really are potentially voting for the vice president," he said. "Because what if Trump gets sick and gets incapacitated or worse between Election Day and Jan. 20 because of Covid? Well then the elected vice president becomes president."

"The importance of him being clear, open and honest — or his doctors — with his health conditions is something I'm skeptical we'll see. But it is critical," Markel said.


The importance of watching the health of a U.S. President: the Spanish flu and a flawed peace treaty

President Woodrow Wilson in Paris, Jan. 1919. Credit: United States. Armáda. Signal Corps, photographer/Library of Congress

As we reflect on the centennial of the end of First World War, it's worth remembering that another calamity was just beginning in 1918: the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 50 million people, more than twice the number of men who had just been shot, blasted or gassed to death in the trenches.

By the time the Paris peace talks began in early 1919, this particularly virulent strain had already infected one third of the global population. As Laura Spinney notes in her new book on the subject, the Spanish flu "resculpted human populations more radically than anything since the Black Death." It could also induce neurological problems such as lethargy and paranoia even after the normal symptoms abated.

In a textbook still used today, Principles and Practice of Medicine, the Canadian physician Sir William Osler remarked that "almost every form of disease of the nervous system may follow influenza." Certainly, this was true of the 1918-19 pandemic strain, to which Osler himself succumbed.

Researchers recently used nucleic acid recombinant techniques to recreate the Spanish flu virus genome from the lung tissue of victims long buried in permafrost. Unlike the ordinary flu, the reconstructed strain can directly infect the brain tissue of laboratory ferrets. Specifically, it strikes the olfactory bulb, disrupting wake-sleep cycles and inducing symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease.

This research opens a better view into how this illness behaved a century ago when U.S President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France for the peace talks.

An accomplished scholar and sincere progressive about everything except race, Wilson was known for his intellectual verve. In early 1918 he had outlined his famous Fourteen Points, in which he called for free trade, open diplomacy and a new balance of European power along with an international body to prevent future wars.

Emergency hospital during Influenza epidemic Camp Funston Kansas. Credit: Otis Historical Archives Nat'l Museum of Health Medicine - NCP 1603, CC BY

The Fourteen Points also disavowed any malice towards Germany, which is why Berlin accepted them as the basis for negotiations.

Compared to the exhausted and embittered British and French, the United States (and Wilson himself) thus emerged as the key player in early 1919, the one party capable of forging a durable peace.

But on April 3, 1919, Wilson fell ill with flu-like symptoms. Recognizing that "the whole of civilization seemed to be in the balance," his physician downplayed the sickness and ordered bed rest.

Ever since, historians have wondered about this episode, both concerning Wilson's prior health problems and his performance when he returned to the negotiating table a week later.

Lost chances and dark outcomes

Wilson wasn't the same man. He tired easily and quickly lost focus and patience. He seemed paranoid, worried about being spied upon by housemaids. He achieved some of his specific goals but was unable or unwilling to articulate a broader vision for a better world.

In other words, he acted like a man with residual neurological problems stemming from a recent bout of Spanish flu.

Over the next crucial weeks, Wilson lost his best chance to win the peace by agreeing in principle to draconian terms favoured by France. The final settlement punished Germany with a formal admission of guilt, enormous reparations and the loss of about 10 per cent of its territory.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France to take part in peace negotiations and to promote his plan for a League of Nations, an international organization for resolving conflicts between nations. Credit: CC BY

The stunned Germans had little choice but to sign on June 28, 1919.

Back in the U.S. that fall, Wilson suffered a major stroke just as opposition to the treaty by isolationist senators gained steam. He died four years later, his vision of a strong League of Nations hampered by the absence of his own country.

The rest, as they say, is history

Right-wing leaders in Germany raged at their nation's betrayal. Among them was Adolf Hitler, who blamed Jews and leftists for undermining the war effort and swore revenge on the Allies. In 1940, he insisted on humiliating France by dictating its surrender terms in the same train car where the 1918 Armistice had been signed.

Could a more forceful Wilson have secured a better peace? Would that peace have kept monsters like Hitler on the fringes?

Of course, we can't know. But by bringing medical and historical research together, we can get closer to what actually happened, and think better about what might have happened.

We can also use this incident to reflect on the awesome power of U.S. presidents, then and now, to shape the fate of unborn millions. Surely that calls for a close watch over their mental health.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Prečítajte si pôvodný článok.


Spanish Flu, Woodrow Wilson, and My Family

Perhaps you’ve heard of the influenza epidemic of 1918-19. Bolo to hrozné. The deadliest in history, it infected an estimated 500 million worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed as many 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans. My father’s mother was one of the victims, so it has particularly meaning to me. And the pandemic had a particularly bad influence on the American involvement in World War I.

An article from that time indicates that the epidemic began on 5 th March 1918 among the Chinese workers contracted at the Fort Riley military base in Funston, Kansas. Another one also refers to this influenza outbreak which affected 1,100 soldiers. Since that publication, it is generally accepted that the Spanish Influenza pandemic began at that time. However, I believe that it is problematic to assign such a specific date to the beginnings of the pandemic, since its origins are likely to be much more complex and varied. What is certain is that the outbreak did not start in Spain. Spain got the blame because it was a neutral country in WWI and had no wartime press censorship. The countries involved in the war censored news about flu cases in their own countries. When Spain reported its cases, that news was reprinted and everyone got the idea that that’s where the epidemic started. The origins might have started in China or elsewhere. But the clearest signs were those in Kansas. So, for whatever reason, America has a strong link to this disease.

This first epidemic wave of the spring of 1918 was benign, affecting many soldiers but causing few deaths. In the French army, 24,886 influenza patients were recorded in May, with 7 deaths 12,304 in June, with 24 deaths and 2,369 patients in July with 6 deaths, all of whom were diagnosed with “grippe” (influenza). Reports by the American army doctors indicate that there were 1,850 cases of “influenza” in April, 1,124 in May, 5,700 in June and 5,788 in July. The first 5 American soldier victims of the influenza died during July.

In Europe, the flu was devastating both sides. 70,000 American soldiers were sick in some units, the flu killed 80% of the men. General John Pershing made a desperate plea for reinforcements. But that would mean sending soldiers across the Atlantic on troop ships.

Even with the number of sick and infected soldiers, President Wilson decided against his chief physician’s advice and sent in thousands of more soldiers on transport ships to the frontlines in France, which seemed to have resulted in the virus spreading across the world. This was not surprising, since troop ships were crammed from stem to stern with soldiers, causing a spread of the illness among the troops. There’s nothing more crowded than a troop ship it’s just being jammed in there like sardines and if somebody has a respiratory disease, everybody’s going to get it. Looking at what happened from afar, Wilson’s decision resulted in the virus spreading across the world, from Kansas to the front lines and outward from there.

President Woodrow Wilson failed to inform the people of America about the devastating effects of Spanish Influenza. When US soldiers arrived in France on what was called ‘floating coffins’, around 200,000 soldiers fell sick, with many being affected on the transport ships. To soldiers and civilians alike, what was attacking them was not any ordinary influenza, but they had no answers.

The most shocking part of the flu was the deafening silence of the government and neither national nor local governments addressed the fast-moving pandemic. With a lack of information and almost no advice from public health officials, people in the United States had no answers but expected a mass extinction had the disease continued to grow and develop at the pace it was going.

The year 1917 saw the formation of the Committee on Public Information by Wilson’s executive order, which aimed at getting more recruits for the war. By the summer of 1918, as the disease started to tighten its grip over the country, the government was focusing on the War and encouraging people to do their bit for the War but made almost no mention on anything else.

The Committee was not used to combat the pandemic. In fact, there were even cases of people being prosecuted over public discussion of the flu.

The fact that the government was attempting to keep the “morale” up turned out to be extremely damaging. The president had been able to sell the war to the people even though he had initially promised that America would not enter World War 1, but fell short on informing the people about a much greater threat with the potential to wipe out the world.

During the war, cities in the U.S. foolishly held parades, and this helped spread the disease. For Philadelphia, the fallout was swift and deadly. Two days after the parade, the city’s public health director Wilmer Krusen, issued a grim pronouncement: “The epidemic is now present in the civilian population and is assuming the type found in naval stations and cantonments [army camps].”

Within 72 hours of the parade, every bed in Philadelphia’s 31 hospitals was filled. In the week ending October 5, some 2,600 people in Philadelphia had died from the flu or its complications. A week later, that number rose to more than 4,500. With many of the city’s health professionals pressed into military service, Philadelphia was unprepared for this deluge of death.

By the time the Paris peace talks began in early 1919, this particularly virulent strain had already infected one third of the global population. This was when President Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris. An accomplished scholar and sincere progressive about everything except race, Wilson was known for his intellectual verve. In early 1918 he had outlined his famous Fourteen Points, in which he called for free trade, open diplomacy and a new balance of European power along with an international body to prevent future wars. The Fourteen Points also disavowed any malice towards Germany, which is why Berlin accepted them as the basis for negotiations.

Compared to the exhausted and embittered British and French, the United States (and Wilson himself) thus emerged as the key player in early 1919, the one party capable of forging a durable peace. But on April 3, 1919, Wilson fell ill with flu-like symptoms. Recognizing that “the whole of civilization seemed to be in the balance,” his physician downplayed the sickness and ordered bed rest.

Ever since, historians have wondered about this episode, both concerning Wilson’s prior health problems and his performance when he returned to the negotiating table a week later.

Wilson wasn’t the same man. He tired easily and quickly lost focus and patience. He seemed paranoid, worried about being spied upon by housemaids. He achieved some of his specific goals but was unable or unwilling to articulate a broader vision for a better world. In other words, he acted like a man with residual neurological problems stemming from a recent bout of Spanish flu.

Over the next crucial weeks, Wilson lost his best chance to win the peace by agreeing in principle to draconian terms favored by France. The final settlement punished Germany with a formal admission of guilt, enormous reparations and the loss of about 10 per cent of its territory. The stunned Germans had little choice but to sign on June 28, 1919.

Back in the U.S. that fall, Wilson suffered a major stroke just as opposition to the treaty by isolationist senators gained steam. He died four years later, his vision of a strong League of Nations hampered by the absence of his own country.

Right-wing leaders in Germany raged at their nation’s betrayal. Among them was Adolf Hitler, who blamed Jews and leftists for undermining the war effort and swore revenge on the Allies. In 1940, he insisted on humiliating France by dictating its surrender terms in the same train car where the 1918 Armistice had been signed.

Could a more forceful Wilson have secured a better peace? Would that peace have kept monsters like Hitler on the fringes? Of course, we can’t know. But by bringing medical and historical research together, we can get closer to what actually happened, and think better about what might have happened.

The entire scenario of the Spanish Flu epidemic sings of irony. The Flu may have started inside the United States. Wilson helped the spread of the disease by sending troops to Europe in overcrowded boats. Wilson’s American government had a policy of secrecy about the disease, and that added to the spread of the disease. And finally when Wilson himself caught the disease, he could not defend his Fourteen Points in the negotiations, and this ultimately led to an ugly Peace Treaty. The result: the rise of Hitler and the start of World War II.

You can thank the Wilson and the Spanish Flu for a lot more than 50 million deaths. My grandmother’s death, for one.


Spanish Influenza in the President's Neighborhood

When Americans consider threats to democracy during President Woodrow Wilson’s administration, they usually think of the bloody world conflict that became World War I. As the war was ending in 1918, another often-forgotten adversary arrived in the United States: an outbreak of the Spanish influenza, a deadly pandemic which significantly impacted global populations, including Washington, D.C. Scientists estimate that the Spanish influenza infected one-third of the world’s population, and as the influenza spread, the President’s Neighborhood found itself in the middle of a deadly outbreak. 1

“Spanish influenza” is something of a misnomer, as there is no evidence that the outbreak began in Spain. However, it became known as the Spanish flu due to the quantity of infection reports in the Iberian Peninsula—including the illness of Spanish King Alfonso XIII. 2 The U.S., France, and other war-weary nations had similar rates of infection in their populations, but war censorship led reporters to underestimate the disease to protect morale. Meanwhile, Spain, a neutral country, reported deaths from the flu without hesitation. 3 As a result, the outbreak was commonly referred to as the “Spanish influenza.”

Washington, D.C. public health officials attempted to warn citizens of the symptoms and spread of influenza using posters like this one.

The virus originally flourished in the close quarters of the trenches and military encampments of World War I, and the international movement of soldiers facilitated infection across borders. By October 1918, the city of Washington, D.C. became a breeding ground for the highly contagious H1N1 strain of the flu. As civilian cases multiplied, local health officials initiated bans on public gatherings in order to quell the spread of infections. Across the city, public schools and universities closed their doors, and Congress and the Supreme Court adjourned. 4 Meanwhile, emergency hospitals opened across the District as nurses desperately tried to care for the constant influx of patients. Influenza cases continued well into the next year, disproportionately affecting healthy residents in their mid-twenties and thirties, a group normally predisposed to fight infectious disease. The infection of the strong and youthful, in addition to babies and the elderly, caused life expectancy in the U.S. to drop by twelve years in 1918. 5

Nurses care for the sick at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1918.

This proximity to the outbreak meant that those working within the White House were vulnerable, and the Spanish influenza affected members of the Wilson family and staff. The first documented case of influenza within the administration was reported at the height of the pandemic in October 1918, when President Wilson wrote to Mississippi Senator John Sharp Williams, emphasizing “I would have answered your letter of October 14th sooner, had not my Secretary been absent with the influenza.” 6 That same month, First Lady Edith Wilson responded to the outbreak by sending 1,000 roses to sick young women working for the war effort in Washington, “with an expression of sympathy and the hope of speedy recovery.” 7

The pandemic did not only affect human patients. In January 1919, The Washington Post reported that two of the White House sheep, known for grazing on the White House Grounds and raising money for the war effort, were “in an animal hospital and…said to have influenza symptoms.” 8 Fortunately, they made a speedy recovery under the care of the Department of Agriculture and returned to the lawn in less than two months. 9

White House sheep grazing during the Wilson administration.

Despite the unprecedented scale and mortality rate of the Spanish influenza, an armistice remained the most critical matter for those working for the Wilson administration. After nearly four years of war, a ceasefire was reached in November 1918, but post-war peace was far from finished. The Paris Peace Conferences began in January 1919, where the “Big Four” (France, the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Italy) met to discuss peace in Europe and abroad for future generations. 10 Travels to Paris for the negotiations further increased the risk of staff catching the disease, as cases in Europe persisted into 1919. In February, multiple members of Wilson’s staff caught the influenza during a transatlantic voyage from Brest, France, to Boston, Massachusetts, including several Secret Service members, Chief Usher Irwin “Ike” Hoover, and Charles Swem, Wilson’s stenographer. 11 President Wilson’s eldest daughter, Margaret, also fell ill that month during a trip to Brussels and was “confined to her room in the American Legation.” 12 They all recovered upon returning to the U.S.

President Woodrow Wilson is pictured above with Allied leaders, with whom he would negotiate during the Paris Peace Conference. Wilson fell ill at the conferences in spring 1919.

Even President Wilson could not avoid the contagious disease, and became ill in the midst of the peace talks. In April 1919, Rear Admiral Cary T. Grayson, personal physician to the president, wrote to a friend, explaining that: “These past two weeks have certainly been strenuous days for me. The President was suddenly taken violently sick with the influenza at a time when the whole of civilization seemed to be in the balance.” 13 The extent of President Wilson’s illness was not revealed to the American people, however. Instead, Grayson informed the press that it was merely a cold caused by the “chilly and rainy weather” in Paris to maintain confidence in the president. 14 Wilson’s absence came at a critical moment of the negotiations. The Big Four were attempting to solve larger questions of German reparations, the creation of the League of Nations, and the threat of Bolshevism—all of which were jeopardized by Wilson’s sickness. 15 As Grayson’s assuring reports of Wilson’s speedy recovery were printed in The New York Times a The Washington Post, influenza confined Wilson to his bed, where he was barely able to talk or stand upright. 16 The press reported his condition back to concerned American audiences daily. One columnist for The Washington Post wrote:

The country will be anxious regarding President Wilson until he is again at work…It is a time when an hour lost means the loss of millions of hours to these individuals who are awaiting to begin reconstruction…the allied world hopes for the sake of its material interests that his illness will be light and brief. 17

President Woodrow Wilson walks with Rear Admiral Cary T. Grayson, his personal physician and close confidante.

Back at the White House, worried citizens expressed sympathy for their sick president abroad and well-wishers across America sent “scores of telegrams” to the Executive Mansion. 18 To the country’s delight, Wilson recovered his strength and quickly returned to negotiations.

A promising American politician and future White House resident also caught the deadly virus and survived—Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt. In September 1918, The Washington Times reported that Roosevelt fell ill with Spanish influenza during a voyage to France. 19 Aboard the U.S.S Leviathan, close to one-sixth of the men onboard became infected, claiming almost two thousand victims. 20 Severely weakened, Roosevelt was carried off the ship on a stretcher after docking in America and transported via ambulance to his mother’s home in New York, where he made a full recovery. 21

Washington Times report of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's illness in 1918.

It is difficult to imagine the course of American history if Woodrow Wilson had succumbed to the disease during post-war peace negotiations or if Franklin Roosevelt had not survived the pandemic. Not all of their countrymen would be so lucky—over 675,000 Americans died during the unprecedented outbreak. Fortunately, by March 1919, cases had steadily decreased in the Washington, D.C. area, but by then, almost 35,000 residents of the District had contracted influenza in some form. 22 Small spikes in infection, like President Wilson’s illness in April, continued until the pandemic ultimately abated globally by 1920.

These stories of the Spanish Influenza remain salient today, particularly following the global outbreak of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. As of the publication of this article, over one million people have succumbed to the virus since December 2019—and tens of millions more have been infected, including celebrities, athletes, members of Congress, and world leaders. 23 The connections between 1918 and 2020 are a striking reminder that the present is never far removed from the past. As in 1918, 2020 witnessed the widespread closure of schools, strict mandates surrounding social gatherings and interactions between citizens, and American concerns about the health of leaders in the White House and abroad.


Woodrow Wilson’s Case of the Flu, and How Pandemics Change History

Vittorio Orlando, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, and Woodrow Wilson meet to discuss the Treaty of Versailles, during which Wilson became ill with the 1918 flu. Photograph from Bettmann / Getty

On the evening of April 3, 1919, in Paris, President Woodrow Wilson began to cough he soon took to bed, feverish and unable to move. He had contracted what had become known as the Spanish flu, the President’s physician wrote confidentially to the White House, and it had made Wilson “violently sick.” By then, the influenza had rampaged around the world for more than a year and was on its way to killing at least twenty million people, including at least six hundred thousand Americans. Wilson was in Paris for the treaty negotiations following the end of the First World War, which sought to shape the postwar global order and settle the status of the defeated Germany. He became ill at a decisive moment, making the virus an insidious actor in one of the twentieth century’s most consequential episodes of great-power diplomacy.

How does a pandemic alter history? To capture the scale of lives lost and economies shattered, and the national mobilizations often required, it has become common to compare the catastrophe to a war against an “invisible enemy.” This is the preferred metaphor of Donald Trump, a self-pronounced “wartime President,” and also of many other national leaders who are struggling forward in these days of COVID-19. Yet, among other shortcomings, war metaphors fail to capture the natural and intimate character of a severe and contagious illness, and how its effect on individual behavior can often be subtle and difficult to measure.

In the days before Wilson was stricken, he had argued heatedly with the French Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau, and the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, about the price, in territory and reparations, that Germany should be made to pay as the aggressor in the war. Wilson thought that the Allies should go easy on Germany’s nascent postwar republic and prioritize his idealistic, ahead-of-its-time project, the League of Nations, and the enlightened principles of self-determination among peoples which he promoted. But France had twice endured German occupation during the previous half century, and Clemenceau sought what the French public saw as a just and prudent resolution: tens of billions of dollars to rebuild France, plus buffer zones on the country’s eastern frontier, including the occupation by French troops of the German Rhineland.

By April, Wilson and Clemenceau had argued themselves into a mutually aggravating deadlock. When Clemenceau learned that Wilson was ill, he asked Lloyd George, “Do you know his doctor? Couldn’t you get round him and bribe him?”

Wilson, sequestered during his recovery in the Hôtel du Prince Murat, an elegant town house in the Eighth Arrondissement, soon appeared changed by his bout with flu. He became obsessed with “funny things,” as an aide put it. He grew fixated on the furniture in the house and came to believe that he was surrounded by French spies. “We could but surmise that something queer was happening in his mind,” Irwin Hoover, the President’s chief usher, said. “One thing is certain: he was never the same after this little spell of sickness.” Hoover’s remarks are recounted by the historian John Barry in “The Great Influenza,” his magnificent narrative of the pandemic of 1918 and 1919. Barry points out that Wilson’s reported disorientation can be a complication of severe influenza.

During the second week of April, an exhausted Wilson gave up most of the demands that he had been pressing Clemenceau to meet. The President accepted the demilitarization of the Rhineland and its occupation by France for at least fifteen years, along with an open-ended process for calculating Germany’s reparations bill. In the judgment of Margaret MacMillan, the author of “Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World,” an authoritative account of the postwar negotiations, Clemenceau suddenly found himself with “the best possible deal for France.” Infamously, the achievement was a Pyrrhic one. The Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, and which ratified Wilson’s concessions, proved to be a settlement so harsh and onerous to Germans that it became a provocative cause of revived German nationalism during the nineteen-twenties and thirties, and, eventually, a rallying cause of Adolf Hitler.

Barry considers in his book whether Wilson might have been a more forceful and stubborn negotiator in Paris if he hadn’t contracted the flu, and whether, therefore, the history of the twenties and thirties in Europe might have turned out differently. He is appropriately skeptical of such counterfactual speculations we cannot know what might have happened if Wilson had remained healthy and vigorous, only “what did happen,” as he writes. “Influenza did strike Wilson. Influenza did weaken him physically. . . . precisely at the most crucial point of negotiations.” Nazism’s triumph over Germany was caused by much more than the blowback from the Versailles Treaty, yet there can be little doubt that the treaty’s punishing terms, including the highly visible French occupation of German territory, did help Hitler to mobilize and narrate German grievances. Lloyd George, who had opposed, in particular, the French occupation, later concluded in a memoir that the “odious accompaniments of such an occupation of German towns . . . had much to do with the fierce outbreak of patriotic sentiment in Germany, which finds its expression in Nazism.”

Wilson recovered from the influenza, but suffered a severe stroke six months later, and was incapacitated through the remainder of his Presidency. He should be remembered as a thoroughgoing failure as a pandemic-time President. In addition to the debacle of Versailles, he never once spoke publicly about the flu as it decimated the United States. He was so narrow-mindedly focussed on the American war mobilization that he generated “a kind of furious intolerance” for any other subject of governance, Barry told me, and he suppressed dissent in the United States in ways that “went beyond anything seen in the McCarthy period or any other time.” He added, “Much like Trump, he did not tolerate criticism from friend or foe. Even if a friend evidenced any distance from him, he exiled that person. All this makes Wilson’s complete silence on the pandemic understandable in only one context: he would do nothing to distract him or the nation from the war effort. His focus was absolute—there was the war, and nothing else.”

It was unfortunate that Wilson fell so ill in Paris we can easily forgive his frailty in the run-up to Versailles, but not his record of prolonged indifference, before then, to public suffering at home among the citizens who elected him, or the racist convictions that led him to support institutionalized segregation. For now, it seems hard to judge which presents the greater record of Presidential failure during a pandemic: Wilson’s silence or Trump’s bombast, self-contradiction, and self-promotion. It may be partly just bad luck that the two worst pandemics to strike the United States in the past hundred years coincide with the terms of two Presidents so plainly unprepared for their responsibilities. Yet it bears reflection that, even a century ago, as is so obvious today, the country requires a President at least as knowledgeable about and committed to sound science and public health as to diplomacy and national defense.


Pozri si video: Primeira Guerra Mundial Tratado de Versalhes (Júl 2022).


Komentáre:

  1. Coley

    I think mistakes are made. Write to me in PM.

  2. Yaakov

    Exclusive deliberation, in my opinion

  3. Faugore

    Dať, kde si o tom môžem prečítať?

  4. Natanael

    Senks za informácie a samostatný rešpekt k pohonu a buzzu! :)

  5. Arashizragore

    In my opinion you are not right. I can defend the position.

  6. Lindley

    Máš dnes migrénu?



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