We don’t question things like the American president dropping the largest conventional bomb in history on a remote area of the Middle East, as Trump did, to applause from the US media for being “presidential”. U.S. presidents must sometimes project power on the world stage by being violent, we all understand. It’s something every red-blooded American can get behind. Remember social justice advocate Van Jones gushing on CNN that Trump was finally “presidential” when he unleashed fifty or a hundred million dollars worth of our greatest missiles against a Syrian airfield to show that America would not tolerate the Syrian dictator using poison gas on his own people?
In light of the impressive irrationality of our species, today’s fun fact should come as no surprise, though it is nonetheless also cool and noteworthy. The Spanish Flu, the deadly strain of influenza that killed more than 50,000,000 worldwide toward the end and right after the First World War, did not originate in Spain! It was no more prevalent in Spain than anywhere else. Spain was merely publicizing the spread of the deadly disease, those traitorous fucks.
I heard an interview about the last pandemic (and lessons, and hope, we can draw from it) with Jeremy Brown, a doctor who wrote a book about the 1918 Flu Pandemic . Seems Spain, neutral during WWI, was the only country whose newspapers reported on the plague that was spreading (largely among the filthy and undernourished troops returning from trenches and weakened populations hungry and dirty from wartime deprivation). All the belligerents had a tacit agreement to keep the news on the back pages, for fear of hurting the war effort . So, obviously: The Spanish Flu. Homo sapiens: the wise ape!
Because of this deliberate underreporting about the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease, millions more died than might have had the information been put out there earlier and had appropriate steps been taken by governments. Until the mass media sounds the alarm, and the president takes decisive and effective action, people continue going about their business, largely unaware of the deadly plague spreading wildly in their midst.
Echoes of history. The Spanish Flu is a fitting name that could have been pulled directly out of the Trump playbook — the Nazi mass-murders of the last century? The Poisonous Jew Rebellion. And, you know, not many people know this, but, there were some very fine people on both sides, on both sides — and, by the way, did you see my ratings? Like Monday Night Kristalnacht numbers!
BROWN: I’m an emergency physician, and I’m the author of the book “Influenza: The Hundred Year Hunt To Cure The Deadliest Disease In History.” And I also work at the National Institutes of Health, where I am the director of the Office of Emergency Care Research.
BROWN: No. The Spanish flu certainly did not originate in Spain. So why was it, and sometimes to this day – why was it called the Spanish flu? And the answer is this. It was widely reported in newspapers in Spain, and that’s where the first stories broke of this disease. Why wasn’t it reported perhaps in other newspapers in the U.S. or in Europe or in Great Britain? The answer is this. There was a tacit agreement between the governments of the Western powers and the newspaper editors not to report bad news.
BROWN: Certainly, there were reports of influenza, but they were generally small and often relegated to the back pages. And what we have, therefore, is an underreporting of influenza in the newspapers. Spain, to remind everybody – Spain was a neutral country in World War I. It did not have, therefore, this tacit agreement between its newspaper editors and its government not to report influenza. And so the first reports of influenza being widespread came out of Spain.