Trump says Spanish Flu of 1918 ended WWII – a conflict that didn’t start until two decades later

Matt Mathers
·1 min read
Getty Images
Getty Images

Donald Trump has inaccurately claimed that the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 ended WWII – a conflict that did not begin until two decades later.

Speaking at a White House press briefing on Monday evening, the president also got the year the pandemic started wrong.

“The closest thing is in 1917, they say, the great pandemic,” Mr Trump told reporters.

“It certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War,” he added.

The Spanish Flu began in 1918, with the first infections recorded around March that year.

The pandemic lasted until 2020 and did, as Mr Trump alluded to, kill millions of people.

But WWII did not break out until 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war two days later, sparking a conflict that would last six years.

The war ended in 1945 when the Axis powers surrendered.

Japan surrendered unconditionally in August 1945 after the US had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

White House officials said that the president misspoke and had, in fact, been referring to WWI which began in 1914 and ended in 1918.

Monday’s error was the second verbal blunder the president has had in a matter of days.

Last week, Mr Trump pronounced Thailand and “Thighland” when delivering a speech at Whirlpool factory in Ohio.

Read more

Trump repeats false claim children are ‘immune’ to Covid-19