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San Francisco’s Plague Cover-up | Plague at the Golden Gate | American Experience | PBS

Word spreads of a bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Black Death, the disease that killed as much as half of Europe in the 1300s, is here in the United States. National, local, and even neighborhood newspapers jump on the story.

But weirdly, no one can seem to agree if it’s actually happening. Depending on the newspaper you read, it could be the start of a nationwide pandemic or an elaborate hoax to destroy the economy. Sound familiar?

Official Website: https://to.pbs.org/37apJCC | #PlagueInSanFranPBS

More than 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world and set off a wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment, an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1900 unleashed a similar furor. It was the first time in history that civilization’s most feared disease — the infamous Black Death — made it to North America. Two doctors — vastly different in temperament, training, and experience — used different methods to lead the seemingly impossible battle to contain the disease before it could engulf the country. In addition to overwhelming medical challenges, they faced unexpected opposition from business leaders, politicians, and even the president of the United States. Fueling the resistance would be a potent blend of political expediency, ignorance, greed, racism, and deep-rooted distrust of not only federal authority but science itself. Scapegoated as the source of the disease early on, the Chinese community fought back against unjust, discriminatory treatment.

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