In yet another wildly inaccurate press conference with Donald Trump, the US President has told reporters that the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic was responsible for the ending World War II, a conflict which began decades later.
The highly misinformed statement was made while Trump was comparing the devastation caused by the Spanish flu (another “great pandemic”) to coronavirus.
Sorry Trump, think you may need a fact check there: the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak was a “great pandemic” but did not, in fact, end WW2, a conflict that began decades later.
In discussing the 1918 Spanish influenza – which resulted in the deaths of around 675,000 Americans and 50 million people worldwide – President Trump had a lot to say.
“It certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War. All the soldiers were sick. It was a terrible situation,” he described.
While it is likely that that Trump meant to say World War I, it would still be a stretch of the facts to say that the Spanish flu was solely responsible for ending the war. We mustn’t forget the range of other factors at play, not limited to, but including large offensives by the Allies and the Russian Revolution; Germany stretching its forces too thinly in its attempt to occupy Ukraine; mutinies amongst Austria-Hungary troops; and the US joining the war.
The ignorance is so painful. https://t.co/GVbgEiWHRl
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) August 10, 2020
This wouldn’t be the first fake history delivered by Trump, who praised revolutionary armies for taking over airports from the British in the 1775-1783 war on Independence Day last year, despite aeroplanes being invented in 1903.
Yikes, looks like it might be time to hire a fact-checker, Mr President.
Learning so much history from Trump. I always thought that Spanish influenza started in 1918 and went rampant when soldiers returned home to after WWI, this amazing this of travel spreading viruses. Now it’s kicked in a year earlier and ended WWII almost 28 years late! Wowsers
— Sarah (@kiwi_chick008) August 11, 2020