Leadership from the federal government and the White House during times of a national health crisis is very different now than 100 years ago. Virginia Tech professor of history Thomas Ewing studies the history of influenza epidemics, and says crisis management from Washington was almost non-existent a century ago. 

Ewing points out how the nation now looks to Washington and the president for empathy, leadership and accuracy.  Looking back 100 years, it was more likely that local health officials were the most visible spokespeople on the topic of influenza.

[More: Find additional Virginia Tech expertise related to COVID-19 here.]

About Ewing

E. Thomas Ewing is a professor in the Department of History at Virginia Tech, and the associate dean for graduate studies and research at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. He teaches courses in Russian, European, and world history while focusing his research on the history of influenza epidemics and that of information, knowledge, and data, among other areas.

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