The Great American Vaccine Debate (re-air with Ken Burns)
On this Fourth of July holiday, we’re returning to a favorite episode with filmmaker Ken Burns about his latest documentary, “Benjamin Franklin.” When he wasn’t busy taming electricity, Franklin was encouraging inoculations to combat the smallpox pandemic of the 18th century. He bitterly regretted not inoculating his 4-year-old son, Francis, who died from smallpox in 1736. Andy talks to Ken about Franklin’s role during the outbreak, how he balanced his libertarian views with scientific and public health reasoning, and whether Franklin would support a COVID-19 vaccine mandate if alive today.
Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt.
Follow Ken Burns on Twitter @KenBurns.
Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium.
Support the show by checking out our sponsors!
- Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows: https://lemonadamedia.com/sponsors/
Check out these resources from today’s episode:
- Watch Ken Burns' documentary, “Benjamin Franklin”: https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/benjamin-franklin/
- Watch this extended scene on inoculation that did not make it into the final film: https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/unum/playlist/innovation#benjamin-franklin-inoculation
- Order free at-home COVID-19 tests through the USPS: https://special.usps.com/testkits
- Order Andy’s book, “Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response,” here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250770165
Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com/show/inthebubble.
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.