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.

After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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One of the most dangerous existential threats to the United States is Critical Race Theory, or CRT. As Glenn Beck has exposed over the past year, CRT is gaining momentum and has been preached in our universities for a while now.

Then last August, leaked documents revealed that Marxism, activist ideology of Black Lives Matter, is making its way into grade school classrooms across the country. And since then, things have only gotten more intense.

On next week's Wednesday night special, Glenn will expose the new ways progressives are systematically indoctrinating our kids and culture with this dangerous ideology. But first, it's crucial that you know what your kids may already be learning.

"What I'm about to show you is just the beginning," Glenn said, introducing the leaked documents.

"I found it shocking that Black Lives Matter supporters have developed lesson plans that start from preschool all the way up to the 12th grade," he continued. "Do you know the money it would take to tailor things ... and get it out to the schools and the unions for each age, to be able to brainwash the kids on Marxism and how to destroy capitalism by using race, sexual orientation, and gender?

"Our children don't stand a chance," Glenn added later. "They're not being taught anything except how to be radical activists. What the hell has happened?"

Watch the video clip below or find the full episode here.


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