The destructive “Spanish Flu” cost the lives of an estimated 50 million people worldwide in 2018. The flu was actually misnamed: it began in the United States.
The U.S. city which suffered the most was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On a single day in October 2018, an estimated 759 men and women died. Although the pandemic was growing every day, a WWI parade was held in the streets of Philadelphia on September 28, attended by an estimated 200,000 people.
“Within 72 hours of the parade, every bed in Philadelphia’s 31 hospitals was filled,” Kenneth Davis wrote in Smithsonian in 2018. “In the week ending October 5, some 2,600 people in Philadelphia had died from the flu or its complications. A week later, that number rose to more than 4,500.”
Some governors of red states called it a ‘rush to judgment’ when the governors of California, New York, and my state of Nevada issued a “stay at home order,” and closed all “non-essential” businesses. Nevada’s Governor, Steve Sisolak, saw how fast the virus was spreading in those two large cities and took immediate action to save lives. It was a courageous move to shut down the casinos in Las Vegas and Reno which cost the industry billions of dollars, and the state millions in tax revenues. For my Republican friends, this is simply “doing the right thing:” placing people before profit.
If the governor of Pennsylvania, and the Mayor of Philadelphia had cancelled the parade and considered the possible loss of life, hundreds, if not thousands of men and women would have been spared their lives.
If impeached President Donald Trump had taken similar action early in February, he could have been hailed for his wisdom. By placing the economy first, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimate of 200,000 to 500,000 lives lost related to the coronavirus would undoubtedly be far less. Trump will be rightfully labeled as another failed, business first, illegitimate but impeached president.
The Truth Lives Here
Op-ed by James Turnage
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