By Roger Caldwell
NNPA Newswire Contributor
“History is bound to repeat itself. Look at what went wrong in 1918 (Spanish Flu). Then do the opposite,” said the History Channel.
President Woodrow Wilson was the American President in 1918, when 675,000 Americans died as a result of the Spanish Flu and over 20 to 50 million people died around the world. This pandemic happened 100 years ago, and a lack of leadership from the federal government helped the flu spread like wildfire.
Wilson took no decisive measures with a coordinated federal plan and gaps were filled at the state and local level. There was a general lack of preparedness and the public health infrastructure was inadequate with no leadership and organization. Public officials lied, made up facts and 25% of the military personnel who had the flu, infected the citizens around the country.
The flu started in March 1918 and the second wave came in the fall, when the majority of Americans died. This mysterious strain of the flu happened during the end of World War I because the moving of lots of men and materials in crowded conditions contributed to the spread of the virus. America and nations around the globe refused to lockdown their countries and the flu spread rapidly.
“The chaotic culture of the Trump White House contributed to the crisis. A lack of planning and a failure to execute, combined with the president’s focus on the news cycle and his preference for following his gut rather than the data cost time and perhaps lives,” said Eric Lipton of the NY Times. The 1918 pandemic lasted one year and there were three different waves where the majority of people died.
In order for the 2020 pandemic to end in America, the entire country must be shut down in every state and the president must place large-scale orders for masks, protective equipment, critical hospital equipment, ventilators and community leaders educating their constituents. This is not a time for “happy talk.” The Coronavirus Task Force must enforce the quarantine with military forces and local police.
China started its lockdown on January 23, 2020 and by the beginning of March, the country was starting to open back up. They were able to get infected cases to low levels, and the United States must follow the same course of action. The population practiced social distancing and the government was able to test on a wide scale.
At this point, America’s testing process has failed, with testing of less than 1% of the population completed. There is no vaccine and more healthcare workers are getting infected with the virus with no time off. Before the country can be opened, there must be widespread testing and a national database of cases to prevent the spread of the virus.
With over 500,000 thousand Americans infected with the virus, and the most citizens to die in any country — over 20,000 — the political and healthcare system is broken. Instead of the pandemic slowing down, it is speeding up and rapidly growing.
In the African American community, the coronavirus is exposing systemic racism with frightening numbers. In Chicago, the Black population is 29% but 70% of the people dying from the virus are Black. In Louisiana, the Black population is 32% but 70% of the people dying from the virus are Black. In other cities, like Washington, DC, Baltimore, Detroit and Dallas, there are alarming numbers that indicate health disparities are killing more Blacks.
No one will save Blacks but us. However, Black leaders must sound the alarm. When America gets a cold, African American get pneumonia. There is a failure of leadership with President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence managing and running the Coronavirus Task Force. They have done a terrible job, lying to Americans, with a general lack of preparedness.
There is glaring incompetency in Trump’s handling of the crisis, and the failure of testing has spread the virus. As our president continues to fabricate the truth at every daily briefing, don’t believe anything Trump promises.