The Great, or Spanish, Influenza of 1918-19 killed approximately fifty million people worldwide. Although there are no exact numbers, it is estimated that as many as 675,000 Americans died as well. There is no way around the fact that this extraordinary loss of life was tragic. But only through foresight and preparation can we avoid, or at least minimize, the impact of this kind of wave of death and destruction in the future. Understanding and preparing for such a challenge must begin with learning the lessons of the past, and looking at how weak presidential leadership at the time cost lives.
- From Shall We Wake the President?: Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office by Tevi Troy