Trump claims 1918 flu pandemic somehow ended World War II — in 1945


World War II ended more than 25 years after the deadly 1918 pandemic.

Donald Trump on Monday said that the 1918 flu pandemic ended World War II, a false claim given that the second world war ended more than two decades later.

"The closest thing is in 1917, they say, the great pandemic," Trump said at a news conference, botching the year the flu pandemic took place. "It certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the second World War — all the soldiers were sick."

"That was a terrible situation," he added.

First, the 1918 pandemic did not take place in 1917. It began in 1918 and lasted until 1920, according to a history of that pandemic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

World War II didn't start until 1939 — 21 years later. That war wrapped up in 1945.

Trump might have meant to say the 1918 flu pandemic ended World War I, which began in 1914 and ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

Many soldiers were stricken with the flu in that war, though the flu was not the reason the war ended — which would have made Trump's comment incorrect even if he got the war he was talking about correct.

World War I ended because Germany was in retreat, realized it could not win, and signed a peace treaty, stopping the fighting at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" — which became known as Armistice Day.

Trump was mocked for his inaccurate and bizarre comment.

"The Second World War ended in 1945. It’s cruel for @DonaldJTrumpJr and family to let @realDonaldTrump stand out there like this," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted.

Swalwell was referencing efforts by Donald Trump Jr. and other members of the Trump campaign to paint presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as a man in cognitive decline.

That depiction has not helped Trump's standing against Biden — as Biden has an 8.3% lead over Trump in FiveThirtyEight's national polling average, as well as in every key swing state.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.