Donald Trump yells outdoors.

Donald Trump Thinks the “1917 Pandemic” (Which Happened in 1918) Ended WWII (Which Began 21 Years Later)

Recommended Videos

Donald Trump has repeatedly called himself things like a “smart person” and a “very stable genius.” “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it!” he once tweeted.

He’s said that he understands polls better than pollsters, science better than scientists. And I’m sure he thinks he understands history better than historians, which is likely why he feels comfortable making up things about history that never happened and confidently stating them in public. Where people can hear him. On purpose.

He got into some Trump Brand History during his Monday press briefing and it’s honestly amazing how many wrong statements he managed to fit into one single sentence.

Speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump told reporters: “The closest thing is in 1917, they say, the great pandemic, 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.”

Let’s start with what Trump got right: That was a terrible situation.

Okay, onto what he got wrong. The “1917 pandemic” happened in 1918. This isn’t a simple mistake, though, as he has repeatedly claimed that the pandemic happened in 1917. A lot.

That pandemic also killed between 20 and 40 million people. That’s an incredibly devastating number so I don’t know why Trump felt the need to exaggerate it.

Also, the really big one: The 1918 flu pandemic did not end WWII, as that war didn’t begin until 1939. Giving him the benefit of the doubt (why?), he probably meant WWI, which did end in 1918, and the flu did direly affect soldiers, though it’s not generally cited as being responsible for ending the war.

Also, if Joe Biden misspoke and mixed up the two world wars, Fox News would play it on a loop and Trump would retweet it 20 times in an hour.

(image: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article ‘Live Through This’ Is 30 and I’m Still Mad About That Kurt Cobain Rumor
'Live Through This' album cover and Kurt Cobain/Courtney Love
Read Article J.K. Rowling’s Legal Threat to Journalists for Calling Out Holocaust Denial Backfires
J.K. Rowling
Read Article The Attacks on HBCUs Extend Beyond Tennessee
Protesters in Nashville hold a press conference to protest state repubilicans voting to vacate the entire board of HBCU Tennessee State University.
Read Article Black Creatives Sign Open Letter in Solidarity With ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers
Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers in red for Romeo and Juliet
Read Article Grace Jabbari Responds to Jonathan Majors’ Sentencing in Domestic Abuse Case
Jonathan Majors leaves the Manhattan Criminal Court after his sentencing in domestic abuse case
Related Content
Read Article ‘Live Through This’ Is 30 and I’m Still Mad About That Kurt Cobain Rumor
'Live Through This' album cover and Kurt Cobain/Courtney Love
Read Article J.K. Rowling’s Legal Threat to Journalists for Calling Out Holocaust Denial Backfires
J.K. Rowling
Read Article The Attacks on HBCUs Extend Beyond Tennessee
Protesters in Nashville hold a press conference to protest state repubilicans voting to vacate the entire board of HBCU Tennessee State University.
Read Article Black Creatives Sign Open Letter in Solidarity With ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers
Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers in red for Romeo and Juliet
Read Article Grace Jabbari Responds to Jonathan Majors’ Sentencing in Domestic Abuse Case
Jonathan Majors leaves the Manhattan Criminal Court after his sentencing in domestic abuse case
Author
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.