Glenn Beck: The Great Influenza


The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history

by John M. Barry

New York Times Op-Ed


Where Will the Swine Flu Go Next?

GLENN: You know, honestly I don't know what to think of this swine flu. You know, maybe most likely it's absolutely nothing but, you know, you've got to pay attention to these things because it has happened before and it has been nasty. Now, most people if you've been alive, 1968 we had another pandemic. I was 4 at the time, but do you even remember reading anything about it? The one that everybody fears is 1918, the great influenza. There is a great book out called The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History. Imagine this scenario in America where we just had the former Health and Human Services secretary where he said all businesses need to just have in their head some sort of a plan. What are you going to do if a third of your workforce can't come in to work? That sounds crazy. I don't know how you how does anything survive if that's the way it is? John Barry is with us. He is the author of the Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History and fantastic book. John, set the scene a little bit on what was happening in America right as the plague hit. How did this manifest itself and what happened?

BARRY: Well, for us it hit right toward the end of World War I, although people did not realize it was, the end of the war was only weeks away. So because we were at war, the government was so concerned with, quote, morale, unquote, politicians didn't want to say anything bad is happening, but that compounded it. In addition they had a law on the books that made it punishable by 20 years in prison to criticize the government.

GLENN: Right. If I'm not mistaken, to even criticize the president. By the way, if you are a fan of this show, you can guess what president it was. It was Woodrow Wilson. And so this played into people being quiet about the flu? They couldn't speak out?

BARRY: Absolutely. In fact, when one newspaper started to tell the truth about the flu, the army started to prosecute, and they were serious about the war. They sent a United States congressman to jail for 15 years for criticizing the government. But that's the setting, and the reason it's important is because the whole approach of both local and national government almost everywhere was to say what they actually said, it was called Spanish flu. And they said, this is ordinary influenza by another name. You have nothing to worry about if proper precautions are taken. But people are hearing this message but in their homes they are seeing their neighbor or spouse dies 24 hours after the first symptoms with horrific symptoms. Probably the scariest would be bleeding from not just nose and mouth but the eyes and ears. And they very quickly know this is not ordinary influenza and they very quickly lose all trust in any authority. And personally I think society is based essentially on trust. That's the bond. And when trust broke down, society in some places started to disintegrate to the extent that people with influenza were dying of starvation because healthy people were afraid to bring them any food. And I think that was a direct result of what today we would call bad risk communication strategies, unquote. And worldwide i n a population only one third as big as today's, 50 million people probably died at least and possibly 100 million. And that number comes from a Nobel Prize winner. So that was a very scary pandemic. But I think let me make a couple of comments about today. First, this is not the swine flu of 1976. There is absolutely no question this is an extremely serious threat right now

GLENN: Wait, wait, wait. John, why do you say that? Why do you say that?

BARRY: Because of the nature of the virus. Because we have you know, it's in New Zealand and Nova Scotia. It clearly has human to human transmission. The 1976 event was limited to a single locality really under special circumstances. Everyone they were army recruits, they were already stressed, weakened immune systems, they were all together, barrack situation, so forth, and

GLENN: And it never left Fort Dix if I understand.

BARRY: That's the point, whereas this has already gotten all over the world and infected I don't know the case count in Mexico, nobody does. But I would guess it is at least ten times and it could easily be many more than ten times the number of cases that are reported.

GLENN: Well, how many what are they saying? There's 100 dead and I think they are saying there's 1600 cases. If so, that makes it extremely virulent, much more virulent than anything that we saw in 1976.

BARRY: That's true, I wouldn't get too concerned about that. I am dead certain

GLENN: That's what you are saying, there are many more cases out there that aren't dying.

BARRY: Exactly. You know, if you've got 100 dead and there are 100,000 cases, that is still something to be concerned about, but it's not the same and I don't know if there are 100,000 cases but I can guarantee you there are more than 10,000 cases.

GLENN: Well, if I'm not mistaken, and you would know, that in the great influenza, it was about 2% mortality rate.

BARRY: In the west. In the west, in the developed world. In the less developed world it got much higher. I mean, there were and the reason, and your readers may be interested, today's there's an op ed in today's New York Times that I wrote that covers background on the four pandemics that we really know something about in detail. There were isolated places in the world where they had probably, people had never seen any influenza virus whatsoever in their lives. So they were extremely vulnerable to it. Their immune systems couldn't protect them. And in those places it was not unusual to see 30% of the entire population dead, whereas in the developed world where ordinary everyday influenza was, you know, an annual occurrence, so they had some cross protection to this new virus, that's where the case mortality was around 2%. Now, interestingly Mexico was sort of in between the worst case and the developed world. You know, obviously Mexico City is a very different place today than it was in 1918, but it is perhaps worth noting that the mortality rate in Mexico was much higher than the United States.

An Afghan interpreter who helped save then-Sen. Joe Biden's life in 2008 was among those stranded in Afghanistan after Biden's troop withdrawal. He has now escaped the country with his family, but not with President Biden's help.

Thanks to private organizations, including The Nazarene Fund, the interpreter and his family have now been rescued.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck share the details:

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A shocking new report by The Daily Wire reveals that the furious father whose arrest at a school board meeting likely sparked the call for the FBI to investigate anti-CRT parents like domestic terrorists was furious for good reasons: The Loudoun County School Board allegedly tried to cover up his daughter's rape.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to discuss the incident and explain why he joined 60 lawmakers in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding answers for why the FBI is targeting parents.

"We want to know ... what kind of coordination took place between the White House, activist groups and teachers unions, and the Department of Justice," Stewart told Glenn. "Because we have evidence that there was [coordination] and, in fact, that the White House are the ones who initiated this. They asked for these activist groups to write this inflammatory letter to the Department of Justice saying they were 'intimidated' and that they 'felt threatened', giving the Department of Justice Attorney General Garland, the excuse to say, 'Okay, well, we have to respond'."

Stewart went on to say he believes the federal government would only involve the FBI in such an issue if its purpose is to silence and intimidate parents concerned about the "poison" being taught to their kids in school. So, what can he and the other representatives who disagree with the Biden administration's overreach of power do to stop it?

Watch the video clip below to hear Stewart explain:

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Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is now warning that his nation is preparing for war with China after Beijing flew a record number of warplanes over Taiwanese territory. Wu reached out to another country for help, but it wasn't the United States.

In a video, Wu urged Australia to help prepare for a possible invasion, but gave the U.S. no mention.

"The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that. And if China is going to launch a war against Taiwan, we will fight until the end. And that is our commitment. And, of course, during this period of time, we would like to exchange with other countries for security cooperation," Wu said on ABC News In-depth's China Tonight program. "We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so that Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation. And so far, our relations with Australia is very good. And that is what we appreciate it for."

On "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere discussed whether or not America would do anything during such a conflict — because it sure seems like President Joe Biden is more focused on working with China to fight climate change. Plus, why did China just cut off all cryptocurrency?

Watch the video clip below to catch the conversation:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On "Glenn TV" tonight, Glenn Beck heads to the chalkboard to reveal how the fundamental transformation of America has already begun by turning the Declaration of Independence upside down.

If Donald Trump was a dictator, then what do we call President Biden? In Biden's first nine months in office, he has already issued 64 executive orders – that's more than Trump, Obama, W. Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan each issued in their entire first years in office.

You never hear the Left talk about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights any more, unless it's to "reimagine" the Constitution or slap a "harmful content" warning on our founding documents. Seriously. The National Archives said while its website label wasn't targeting the Constitution specifically, "some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions." The Left finds basic, guaranteed rights so offensive they now spend all of their time on workarounds to deal with America's annoying founding documents.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below to see Glenn outline the aggressive unconstitutional abuses "King Biden" is jamming down our throats and teaches Americans how we can defend against presidential tyranny.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.