In New York City in 1920 – nearly two years into a deadly influenza epidemic that would claim at least 50 million lives worldwide – the new year began on a bright note. “Best Health Report for City in 53 Years,” boasted a headline in the New York Times on Jan. 4, 1920, after New York had survived three devastating waves of the flu virus. The nation as a whole, which would ultimately lose 675,000 people to the disease, believed that the end might finally be in sight.Subscribe to The Post Most new

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