The Original Anti-Vaxxer


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By The Atlantic and WNYC Studios, The Atlantic, and WNYC Studios. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week, President Joe Biden rolled out a large-scale federal mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for two-thirds of the American workforce, impacting more than 100 million people across the public and private sectors. Some lawmakers have already called the mandate unconstitutional, and Arizona is the first state to sue to block it. This week on The Experiment: As the struggle between individual liberty and public safety rages, we revisit the story of the first Supreme Court battle over vaccines, waged more than 100 years ago.

This episode of The Experiment originally ran on March 25, 2021.

A transcript of this episode is available.

Further reading: Why Biden Bet It All on Mandates,” “Not Getting Vaccinated to Own Your Fellow Libs,” “‘Post-Vax COVID’ Is a New Disease

Be part of The Experiment. Use the hashtag #TheExperimentPodcast, or write to us at

This episode was produced by Julia Longoria and Gabrielle Berbey, with editing by Katherine Wells. Fact-check by Will Gordon. Sound design by David Herman. Transcript by Caleb Codding.

Music by Ob (“Wold”), Parish Council (“Leaving the TV on at Night,” “Museum Weather,” “P Lachaise”), Alecs Pierce (“Harbour Music, Parts I & II”), Laundry (“Lawn Feeling”), water feature (“richard iii (duke of gloucester)”), Keyboard (“Mu”), and naran ratan (“Forevertime Journeys”), provided by Tasty Morsels. Additional music by Dieterich Buxtehude (“Prelude and Fugue in D Major”), Johannes Brahms (“Quintet for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello in B Minor”), and Andrew Eric Halford and Aidan Mark Laverty (“Edge of a Dream”).

40 episodes