Skip to comments.Niall Ferguson: How President Ike Eisenhower’s 1950s America Beat The ‘Asian Flu’ Pandemic With Science & Common Sense
Posted on 05/01/2021 9:24:36 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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Swine flu, Asian flu were not a big deal where I grew up. I had chicken pox a year after this Asian flu, and I remember that. I do not remember hearing about Asian flu or Swine flu until this year. All of a sudden there were dangerous pandemics. I had mumps a year or two after chicken pox and I remember that. I never had the flu back then, not at all. We had colds. A friend had Whooping Cough, her cough was so loud, you never forget. But she got over it, no problem, and no one else caught it. We didn’t have vaxx for it. We didn’t have vaxx for chicken pox, mumps, or measles back then. We never had small pox vaxx and it wasn’t declared eradicated until 1977.
Ike seldom gets the credit he deserves. It’s like he was an invisible President.
Great article with interesting history, perspectives, and contrasts to the last year. Since I turned 2 years old early in 1957, I have no living memory of the event and can’t even recall my parents making a big deal of it later when I was old enough to notice. I do have a strong memory of their concerns with the typical childhood diseases of the time that had not been addressed by vaccines by the time I got the actual diseases in the early 60s. I definitely have a strong memory of going to take the polio vaccine via a sugar cube one Sunday after church. Always interesting the stuff you remember as a child and when those memories start forming.
Agree. Great description.
I believe my mother had this Asian Flu...I was six, my siblings 5 and 3...and I remember her being in bed really sick for several days...but don’t remember much else.
The Hong Kong Flu of 68-69 was pretty rough too- but we still went to the moon and rolled in the mud in Woodstock
In 1957 we lined up in the hall and marched to the cafetorium for what my memory tells me was the first round of polio shots at that school.
From the article:
“It has become commonplace to describe the speed with which vaccines were devised for Covid-19 as unprecedented. But it was not. The first New York Times report of the outbreak in Hong Kong—three paragraphs on page 3—was on April 17, 1957. By July 26, little more than three months later, doctors at Fort Ord, Calif., began to inoculate recruits to the military.
Surgeon General Leroy Burney announced on August 15 that the vaccine was to be allocated to states according to population size but distributed by the manufacturers through their customary commercial networks. Approximately 4 million one-milliliter doses were released in August, 9 million in September and 17 million in October.
This amounted to enough vaccine for just 17% of the population, and vaccine efficacy was found to range from 53% to 60%. But the net result of Hilleman’s rapid response to the Asian flu was to limit the excess mortality suffered in the U.S.”
it took 4 to 6 months from the time of the outbreak in Asia to the Asia flu shot to be available in the US.
It took 12 months from the time of the outbreak in China to the Wuhan virus shot to be available in the US.
Vaccines killed more people back then. They test now, because they should. Vaccines had been 60% effective back then, but he is not giving you the rate of health issues and even death from the vaccine. Do a search on Cutter or Simian Virus. The 1950s was not a golden era for vaccines.
Sacrificing life and liberty to the god of safety.
‘It’s like he was an invisible President.’
which is because he wasn’t a ridiculous narcissist like today’s politicians, and didn’t draw attention to himself, as the current lunatics do...
Ike made his bones during the war, when it really counted...
‘Great article with interesting history, perspectives, and contrasts to the last year.’
indeed; I turned eight years old in 1957, and remember some media coverage, and some talk of it in the schools, and of course the shot distributions (done in doctor’s offices, if I remember correctly)...nobody I knew got sick, and nobody gave it much thought at all...
indeed; I turned eight years old in 1957, and remember some media coverage, and some talk of it in the schools, and of course the shot distributions
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Having joined the Navy in 1956, after a school I was assigned to the USS Henrico (APA-45) in Aug 1957 and the whole squadron sailed off to Asia in the middle of the ‘world pandemic’.
Admittedly with the amount of shots we had taken, I can’t ‘honestly’ say there was or wasn’t an ‘Asian Flu’ shot in there but - even if there was - we didn’t have this mask nonsense - and being a (very) young enlisted our berthing arrangements were not quite what one would or could call ‘social distancing’.
After my USN stint, the ONLY shot I have taken was a tetanus shot in the mid 1980s or so.
Other than possibly in the 1950s, I have NEVER taken the ‘annual’ flu shot and the last time I had medical contact was in 2007 for a double cataract operation... and any day now I suppose I will get my post op exam etc etc etc.
NOT suggesting or saying it works for all, but it does ‘work’ for me and I am sure there is a happy, sensible medium for such as me and the guy/gal that wears a double mask while alone in their car.
The reason it was not emphasized is that a Republican was President, and he managed a difficult challenge very well. When the Spanish flu epidemic had occurred, Democrat Woodrow Wilson had been in office. The media just couldn't have Republican Dwight Eisenhower succeed where Wilson had failed.
He was the first President after the rise of ubiquitous television news. The leftie media bashing began against him, who could never catch a break from the Democrat screeching. He was so efficient and effective at what he did, quietly and matter-of-factly without fanfare, that the liberals called him the "do-nothing" President.
Ike had already had quite enough drama in World War II, had witnessed the Nazi death camps and had ordered that their atrocities be photographed so that no one could ever credibly claim that the Holocaust really didn't happen, and he needed no further drama in his life. He did his job dutifully and competently, and with bold decisiveness when necessary such as the integration of the schools against rabid Southern Democrat opposition; he was a man who was already conditioned to an environment in which the smallest strategic or badly timed missteps could result in the deaths of many.
The list of his real accomplishments is not only long, but much of the credit for it was appropriated by others, particularly the grandstanding Kennedy brothers and two of the rumored conspirators in JFKs extinction who would later become President (LBJ and Poppy Bush).
He was one of the the very best Pesidents other than Washington and Trump, better even than Reagan, but few seem to know it. God bless his memory.
Ike was the greatest American of the 20th Century.
COVID-19 is completely new virus so that's why you see elderly dying in great numbers nowadays.
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