Thursday, March 26, 2020

Deadliest Ever “Spanish Flu” With 50-100 Million Dead Was More Accurately “American Flu”

Posted by Peter Quennell

Global leaders should be working together on what matters, not being divided by political nonsense

China has an obvious response to the distracting US effort to get other countries to label this the “China Virus” or “Wuhan Virus”.

Patient Zero in the world’s deadliest-ever pandemic is believed to have been a cook at an American troop training camp in Kansas.

The virus is believed to have been carried by American troops to Europe. The US suppressed information, Spain didn’t, and so the world came to think Spain was the origin.

Here is an excellent short history with photographs by Jim Harris, an Ohio State history professor.

Recent estimates suggest that this flu claimed as many as 50 million lives around the world between 1918 and 1919, killing more people in a single year than the entire “Black Death” of the 14th century…

When the first cases of the influenza pandemic broke out in 1918 during the final year of World War I, the origins of this deadly pandemic were unknown…

The Spanish “origin” relates to reports in the press of cases of influenza in the summer of 1918, where as many as eight million Spaniards succumbed to the disease. Even the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, caught influenza in 1918.

[Today’s] standard narrative maintains that the first cases broke out in a military camp in Kansas where few noticed the signs of the pandemic to come amid the ongoing war.

On March 4, 1918 company cook Albert Gitchell, possibly patient zero, reported sick with a fever of 104º Fahrenheit at Camp Funston, part of Fort Riley, where 54,000 men were gathered for basic training. Within days, 522 soldiers reported sick and by the end of the month 1,100 soldiers were admitted to hospital with influenza….

[The pandemic] followed the movement of soldiers around the globe. The American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), which deployed out of Kansas to France, were likely carrying the flu with them in the spring of 1918 as the Allies rushed deployments to halt the German Ludendorff Offensive.

And the deliberate suppression of factual information carried a huge price.

Britain, France, Germany and other European governments kept it secret. They didn’t want to hand the other side a potential advantage.

Spain, on the other hand, was a neutral country in the war. When the disease hit there, the government and newspapers reported it accurately. Even the king got sick.

So months later, when a bigger, deadlier wave swept across the globe, it seemed like it had started in Spain, even though it hadn’t. Simply because the Spanish told the truth, the virus was dubbed the “Spanish flu.”...

When the second wave of Spanish flu hit globally, “there was outright censorship” in Europe, Barry said. “In the United States, they didn’t quite do that, but there was intense pressure not to say anything negative.”

News about the war was carefully controlled by the Committee on Public Information, an independent federal agency… The CPI released thousands of positive stories about the war effort, and newspapers often republished them verbatim.

So when the Spanish flu spread across the United States in the fall of 1918, both the government and the media continued the same rosy strategy “to keep morale up.”

The official denial opened the way to the much more deadly second wave.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26/20 at 11:01 AM in


Unlike all of its neighbors Sweden is not shutting down. In part it seems Swedes will “do the right thing”. Quite a gamble. The latest reports say cases and deaths are rising fast.

But also partly, Sweden does not want to see globalization put in reverse. This article claims that isolation creates unprotected populations and moving around protects people better.

Globalization might even prevent many pandemics from happening. A 2019 study by researchers at the universities of Oxford and Tel Aviv showed that frequent travel between populations makes us catch a lot of bugs, but also increases immunity against new strains.

So apocalyptic outbreaks become less likely. This is the reason why previously isolated populations are most at risk—from Native Americans after 1492 to the swine flu in 2009, when 24 of the 30 worst affected countries were island nations.

Human mobility is like a “natural vaccination” says Oxford’s Robin Thompson. The researchers speculate that this might help explain the absence of a global pandemic as severe as the Spanish flu in the last 100 years.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/26/20 at 09:43 PM | #

Swedish doctors and scientists are not buying it. Here’s an explanation of how the authorities are flying blind, reliable mapping is so far behind.

“Sweden under fire for ‘relaxed’ coronavirus approach here’s the science behind it”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/20 at 11:31 AM | #

Pay really close attention to what is about to happen in Telluride.

This is perhaps the most beautiful of Colorado towns at the top end of a spectacular valley with only one way in and out. And the gondola to the ski-fields up above is FREE!

In the next several days a high-tech company whose owners have a house there is going to test the blood of the entire willing component of the population, to see who has the virus and especially useful antibodies.

If this works, the global benefits could be huge: a very fast way to test, via blood instead of swabs, and the possible mass use of antibodies to push the virus back.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/20 at 11:51 AM | #

The 101-year-old man in Italy who recovered seems to have had the Spanish flu as a baby and according to CNN his antibodies suggest he may have had some immunity for 100 years. A 103-year-old woman in Wuhan also recovered.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/20 at 07:24 PM | #

In the US the effects of all the hoaxing are wearing off.

“Polls Find Growing Agreement On Seriousness Of Coronavirus Threat”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/27/20 at 07:47 PM | #

More on the rationales for Sweden’s Russian Roulette, from the NY Times and Washington Post.

Sweden is in a bad economic slump; and the Public Health Authority is actually calling the shots.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/28/20 at 11:03 AM | #

On possible treatments.

1. Chloroquine is sharply on the way down. All research funding has been pointed toward other drugs.

2. Blood plasma with antibodies of recovered cases is sharply on the way up.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/28/20 at 02:09 PM | #

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