Patrick Buchanan – NEWSMAX
As of April 30, the coronavirus pandemic has killed 61,500 Americans in two months and induced the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. And if history is our guide, the economic crisis, which has produced 30 million unemployed Americans in six weeks, may prove more enduring, ruinous and historic than the still-rising and tragic death toll. The Spanish flu of 1918-1919, the deadliest pandemic in modern history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, a third of the planet’s population, and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including 675,000 Americans “Adjusting for the difference in the size of the American population then and now,” writes Chronicles columnist Roger McGrath, “that number will be equivalent to two million deaths today.” Yet, the Spanish flu did not shut America down. As the Spanish flu hit and spread in 1918, the U.S. raised, trained and equipped an army of 4 million men, sent 2 million soldiers to France, broke Gen. Erich Ludendorff’s army, and turned the tide in favor of the Allies. By December 1918, Doughboys were arriving in New York harbor — having sailed home from Europe’s battlefields on flu-infested transports. As the scourge continued to take its toll, Woodrow Wilson sailed to Europe, participated for months in the Paris Peace Conference, returned, went on a national train tour to sell his Paris treaty and League of Nations, and suffered a stroke. In September 1919, Gen. Pershing led his victorious troops in victory parades in New York City and Washington. This writer’s father, a teenager then, was in the D.C. Crowd.