A historian who has written an entire book about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic in the United States tells the Washington Post that President Donald Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has left him stunned.
Historian John M. Barry, the author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History,” explains how Trump has hampered his own government’s response by giving wildly erratic messages about the dangers of the disease.
“The first few months it was hugely disappointing to see him trivialize this outbreak,” he said. “He still is telling people to keep apart, and that’s important. But obviously he gives out inaccurate information on a daily basis.”
Barry was then asked to predict what future history books would say about the United States’ response to the pandemic.
“If they’re writing about the United States, it would be the incomprehensibly incoherent response,” he said. “Every country seems to have had a different response. Some of them quite good. Some are not so good.”
In total, Barry said he would give Trump a rating of a 3.5 out of 10 for his pandemic response, although he admitted that may be “overly generous.”