Robert F Kennedy, Jr. has become one of the leading opponents of vaccines in the country, and he met with Donald Trump this week. Kennedy emerged from the meeting and declared that Trump was putting him in charge of a commission on "vaccine safety and scientific integrity." Trump himself has said and tweeted many things about vaccines that are flat-out wrong. And even the Cleveland Clinic is backtracking after one of its doctors used the Cleveland Clinic platform to publish an anti-vaccine screed. The LA Times declared that Trump and the Cleveland Clinic are moving "vaccine anti-science back into the mainstream."

What can be done? We'll examine the research that indicates the best and worst ways to break through to parents who are resisting science on vaccines. Our guests:

  • Brendan Nyhan, New York Times contributor and political science professor at Dartmouth
  • Dr. Sharon Humiston, professor of pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City Missouri
  • Dr. Mario Elia, family physician in Ontario, Canada


Vaccination skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he would chair a panel to review vaccine safety, at President-elect Donald Trump's request.

The claim, however, is drawing criticism from vaccine experts at the University of Rochester School of Medicine who fear the panel would influence people to believe debunked theories.

“I would fear not. The currently licensed and sold vaccines are excellent,” said Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, a professor of pediatrics who specializes in studying infectious diseases.

New York lawmakers are fighting over vaccine exemptions. A bill being pushed by a downstate Assemblyman would make New York the fourth state (after California, Mississippi, and West Virginia) to ban religious exemptions for vaccines. Only medical exemptions would be permitted by law. But earlier this year, other members of the Assembly pushed legislation that would make it easier for parents to gain exemptions for their children. We'll talk to stakeholders on all sides:

  • Patricia Finn, vaccine rights lawyer
  • Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz
  • Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, pediatric infectious disease specialist at UR Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital

We're following the news of the Measles outbreak at Disneyland. The number of cases has grown to 81. Doctors are concerned about parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children in particular. Our panel will address vaccination, this case, and whether we're more likely to see similar stories as a result of the anti-vaccine movement. Our panel includes:

  • Dr. Michael Pichichero, Director of Rochester General Hospital's Research Institute
  • Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, pediatric infectious disease specialist at UR Medicine's Golisano Children's Hospital
  • Dr. Paul Graman, Clinical director of the infectious diseases division at UR Medicine's Strong Memorial Hospital