Post Reports

Health officials are targeting communities battling measles. Anti-vaxxers are, too.

Lena Sun explores the rise of the modern anti-vaccine movement. Michael Kranish analyzes President Trump’s changing rhetoric on Iran. Plus, Michael Birnbaum explains the Green parties’ surge in the European Parliament election.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

How the anti-vaccine movement took hold in the U.S.
The modern anti-vaccine movement began in the 1980s with a mother in Virginia. She believed her son had been injured by the DPT vaccine — and went on to start one of the most powerful anti-vaccination organizations in the United States.

The anti-vaccine advocates have a rhetorical advantage over scientists. They speak with certainty about the ill effects of vaccines. And today, in the echo chambers of social media, the movement has metastasized into something far darker, with charismatic speakers, scientific-sounding theories and well-produced videos to back it up.

“You have scientists and researchers who cannot talk in absolutes when it comes to risk. There is nothing that is without risk,” says health reporter Lena Sun. “They can say the preponderance of the evidence shows this, or the data shows this — that is not nearly as compelling or heart-wrenching as a mother who comes to you and says, ‘The light went out of my son's eyes after he got a vaccination.’ ”

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Trump softens Iran rhetoric
After ordering 1,500 troops to the Middle East, President Trump denied that the United States is seeking regime change in Iran.

“We’re not looking for regime change. I want to make that clear,” Trump said at a joint news conference Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We’re looking for no nuclear weapons.”

Michael Kranish, a national political investigative reporter, attributes Trump’s shift in tone on Iran to his businessman persona.

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Green wave in European politics
European voters soured on traditional political parties in favor of climate-focused activists in a green wave that swept several countries over the course of the E.U.’s parliamentary elections.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.