Have other presidents become ill during a pandemic, similar to President Trump’s contraction of COVID-19?
President George Washington did not catch yellow fever during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793. His Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton wasn’t so lucky. Although he caught yellow fever, Hamilton recovered and published treatment recommendations in the Federal Gazette on 11 September 1793.
When President Trump was in the hospital recovering from COVID-19, many in today’s media reported that during the Spanish Flu pandemic, President Woodrow Wilson caught the flu.
GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives give some interesting perspective on Wilson and the flu, and show how far we have come in diagnosing viruses.
The world began dealing with the pandemic known as the Spanish Flu in 1918. President Wilson was meeting with European leaders in Paris about the League of Nations when he became ill in early April 1919. His illness kept him from attending the deliberations.
Wilson’s physician, Admiral Grayson, took his condition seriously.