"The Great Influenza" Historian John Barry Reflects on COVID-19

Apr 22, 2020

As our current pandemic continues, we hear from historian John M. Barry, who wrote one of the definitive accounts of the worst American pandemic, the Influenza pandemic of 1918-19. Barry is the author of  the 2004 book, "The Great Influenza: The Story of The Deadliest Pandemic in History." Barry says that the most important lesson from the influenza pandemic is that truth is the strongest weapon available to man in a pandemic.  In 1918, truth and transparency were among the first casualties of the influenza pandemic, one of several similiarities to the situation Americans face today with COVID-19.

Barry is a professor at Tulane University's School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine. After the publication of his book in 2004, he served on several governmental pandemic response entities, and has advised both the George W Bush and Obama Administrations on pandemic responses.