The national media is slow to feature this crisis in its historical context for the very good reason that it shows just how effective President Trump has been. It seems that Donald J. Trump was born to lead America during this coronavirus pandemic.
While many Republican politicians would be slow to use excessive government services to address the crisis and a Democratic president, like Obama, would not release the private sector to help, crippling private clinics from finding vaccines, for example, Donald Trump has had no problem doing both.
President Trump is freed from the ideological chains and political obligations that limit other politicians.
The president has united Target and Walmart, Pelosi, and Mnuchin. He has undone the onerous Obama regulations requiring private clinics to wait for FDA approval to even begin antivirus research.
So how does Trump’s leadership really compare to presidents who faced similar crises?
For example, how did Woodrow Wilson, often rated as a great president, handle the Spanish Flu which may have killed 100 million people?
There is a stark difference.
Trump is transparent by nature. He talks to us. He declassified the Warren Report and the investigation into the assassination of JFK. When there was a controversy regarding his conversation with the Ukrainian president, he simply made it public. When I interviewed him for an official history of his presidency, he openly talked about anything I wanted to discuss.
So now he is making this coronavirus pandemic a public event.
Everything he knows he's telling us. In real time, as he learns it.
By contrast, President Woodrow Wilson kept the Spanish Flu under wraps, even while he falsely feigned transparency. For example, in April, 1917, he established the Committee on Public Information. It focused on trying to raise recruits for World War I.
It hardly mentioned the Spanish flu.
Trump is holding press conferences and addressing the nation. Under Wilson, the government threatened to prosecute a Wisconsin newspaper for writing about the Spanish Flu.
Trump is discouraging public meetings.
Woodrow Wilson called for the nation to have military parades right in the middle of the crisis. One such famous parade in Philadelphia resulted in a disaster. The next day, because of the Spanish Flu, every hospital bed in the city was filled.
Trump listens to the advice of his health professionals. Woodrow Wilson did the opposite.
When he was warned that crowded ships full of young American men being sent to France during World War I, would result in spreading the virus worldwide, he did it anyway, spreading the pandemic and killing off tens of thousands of young American soldiers who died in beds far from home, some of them on the ships.
Most would never even fire a gun in combat.
While Trump is leading a major education program to deal with the pandemic, Woodrow Wilson allowed bogus science to spread without any correction or clarification. Some doctors encouraged smoking cigarettes, claiming that the smoke would kill virus bacteria in the lungs.
Today, there is a deafening silence in the national media about the history of the Spanish Flu, and for a good reason. Wilson handled it poorly. Trump is handling his crisis superbly.
The Spanish Flu killed somewhere between 25-100 million people. Priests pushed carts through the streets of New York City urging people to bring out their dead so they could be properly buried.
Under Woodrow Wilson, the government and the media openly lied to its people.
In fact, it was called the Spanish Flu because Spain was the one country where journalists were willing to report about it. President Woodrow Wilson was mobilizing the country for World War I. He was tasked with recruiting young men to volunteer for the trench war in France. These were the same young men who had voted for him because he promised to keep them out of war.
In a moment of historic Karma, President Woodrow Wilson eventually caught the flu, himself. So did British Prime Minister, Lloyd George. Even the Kaiser. And so the men who fed a generation of youth into the meat grinder of World War I were inconvenienced with a short bout of fever and diarrhea.
Consider this, many historians contend that more Americans died from the Spanish Flu than World Wars I and II, the Korean War Vietnam Wars, and the War in Afghanistan —combined.
Comparing Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus to Woodrow Wilson’s handling of the Spanish Flu is like comparing Superman to Barney Fife.
Don’t believe what the media is trying to peddle.
Donald Trump is a man for all seasons. And this season we need him more than ever.
Doug Wead is a presidential historian who served as a senior adviser to the Ron Paul presidential campaign. He is a New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, and adviser to two presidents, including President George H.W. Bush, with whom he co-authored the book "Man of Integrity." Read more reports from Doug Wead — Click Here Now.
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