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Episode 95
Duration 34:52

Peter Hotez: Opposing the Anti-Science Movement


Harlan Krumholz: Welcome to Health & Veritas. I’m Harlan Krumholz.

Howard Forman: And I’m Howie Forman. We’re physicians and professors at Yale University. We’re trying to get closer to the truth about health and healthcare. This is a very special episode of the podcast.

Harlan Krumholz: Very special episode for sure.

Howard Forman: We’re excited to welcome Dr. Peter Hotez. Dr. Hotez is a world-renowned physician-scientist who is specialized in vaccine development, pediatrics, and neglected tropical diseases. A widely respected public intellectual, he holds many coveted positions, including serving as the Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, as well as co-director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development and the Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics. Dr. Hotez is renowned for pioneering vaccines for infectious diseases. He relentlessly advocates for vaccine access and has written several books on the science behind vaccines and the socioeconomic and biological effects of tropical and poverty related diseases.

Recently, he has been writing about the dangers of the anti-vax movement and misinformation and disinformation. He worked on vaccine diplomacy in the Obama administration as a U.S. envoy and has kickstarted special infectious disease task forces under several Texas governors. He regularly testifies before Congress and is a frequent presence on national TV networks, educating the public about infectious diseases, preventive measures, and how we can help each other reduce threats for infectious diseases. We’re excited to do this podcast at the same time as the release of his most recent book, The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science: A Scientist’s Warning, dealing with the anti-vaccine movement and the detrimental effects it has had on public health and safety.

Welcome, Dr. Peter Hotez. What are you telling people right now as this book emerges about this particular phase in the pandemic, knowing what we know about how divisive this topic has been in the past?

Peter Hotez: Well, thank you.

Howard Forman: Hi, Peter. Welcome.

Peter Hotez: Well, thank you. Thank you. Well, first of all, what I want to say is that one part of the introduction that maybe you didn’t mention is I’ve probably spent more years of my adult life at Yale University than any single place.

Howard Forman: Yale college grad. We want you back.

Peter Hotez: I was a Yale undergraduate with Harlan back in the Pleistocene Era and then was after that eleven years as a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric infectious disease in the School of Public Health and came on the faculty. So I have amazing fond memories of both Yale University, the Medical Center, New Haven. So anytime I can maintain that connection, that’s something very special for me.

Howard Forman: Well, we appreciate it.

Harlan Krumholz: And Yale loves that as well, so thank you for saying that.

Howard Forman: Yeah, come on back.

Peter Hotez: Okay, so your question was about what’s happening with COVID?

Howard Forman: And really, how do we deal with it now knowing just how divisive this topic is. You can already see the health freedom people as you talk about in your book already agitating for a fight over this next phase. How do we deal with that?

Peter Hotez: Yeah, I mean, you try to sound concerned. I always have concern—but measured. In this case, the numbers are going up in terms of cases and hospitalizations and wastewater, positivity. All those numbers are going up, but we are starting at a very low level because we reached probably a nadir, a low point in those numbers late in the spring, early summer in June. So yes, the number’s going up, I’m getting concerned. I think the hard part’s going to be getting people to accept this new monovalent XBB booster, which I think is really important because now these new XBB variants, which includes EG.5 that’s out there and the FLip variants are so different from the original lineage. Not a lot of people got their Omicron booster, bivalent booster last September in 2022, only about 17% of eligible Americans, so that most of the country’s not been boosted for a long, long time. So there is that vulnerability.

So even though I don’t expect this to turn into a wave that’ll look anything like 2021, 2022, there could be a lot of people profoundly disappointed to find if they’re winding up in the hospital because they’re not taking the booster. And you’re right. Now with all of the anti-vaccine aggression out there and everything else, it’s harder than ever to persuade Americans to take this booster. So I’ll be first in line for it. I took a second bivalent booster, me and about six other people in the United States. So it’s going to be a tough battle to limit the number of hospitalizations and serious illness. Although long COVID can occur in anybody who gets COVID, statistically it’s more likely with severe illness. So I worry we’re going to have an unnecessary number of people affected by long COVID as well.

Harlan Krumholz: I want to get to some things in the book, but let me just follow on one other quick question. So a lot of people asked me, “I had COVID two weeks ago. Do I really need to get vaccinated?” Let me just start with that. What do you tell people who like that who say, “Hey, aren’t I auto-vaccinated now because I was just tested positive two weeks ago?”

Peter Hotez: So here’s the problem. What some people call natural infection or just infection with these new Omicron or Omicron variants don’t seem to provide as much enduring protection as maybe the earlier lineages, for reasons that we don’t entirely know. The best thing you can do is if you’ve had a breakthrough Omicron infection—and in 2022, I had one as well, probably from a BA.2 variant—is to get vaccinated on top of it. Because when you do that, and the Yale immunologists are as good as anyone who explain this because you’ve got this extraordinary immunobiology center at Yale, which is that by getting vaccinated on top of that, it stimulates your memory B cells to vary up and broaden your epitopes that you’re responding to. So the best protection you could get then would be that hybrid immunity after infection getting vaccinated on top of it. I’m a strong proponent of telling people, “Don’t rely on your previous infection, especially your Omicron or Omicron derivative infection to protect you, because it might not.”

Howard Forman: And people are always asking about timing. I presume that since there’s a wave building now that you’re going to say take it as soon as it’s available. You said you are going to take it as soon as available, but a lot of people will ask this question, “When’s the best time to get a booster knowing that it might only have its peak protection for a few months?” What do you tell them?

Peter Hotez: So it’s a different discussion for flu than for COVID, but for COVID, we don’t know what’s going to happen by early 2024. There may be an entirely different variant. We are seeing some other things pop up like the 2.86. I don’t know if that’ll turn out to be a player or not, but my advice is, now is the time that XBB seems to be ascending or XBB derivatives, and I’m disappointed that the booster’s not available now because I’ve already got events scheduled in Washington, D.C., and New York in September, so there’s going to be a vulnerability there. So I would say get this XBB booster as soon as it’s out because six months down the line, either things won’t be a problem at all, which is fine, or there could be something entirely different out there.

Harlan Krumholz: I wanted to pivot a little bit to the book, which I think is so important. And it’s not just a book about this moment. I think it’ll be an enduring piece because really, it’s about these forces in society and groups that refuse to engage and accept in scientific knowledge and fail to coalesce around common facts. There’s plenty of room for disagreement in science, but there are areas where we believe that we have established knowledge and yet we are fighting about things that seem like it’s not something that’s going to flip in terms of our understanding. I wanted to say that I was really touched by the part where you’re talking also about your family and your father, and many people may not have known that about your background. I wonder if you could just maybe tell a little bit about your dad and what role he played in your life or your family played in your life as the person you’ve become.

Peter Hotez: To take a step back, I think one of the themes of the book is how the anti-vaccine movement has pivoted around phony baloney, making false claims that vaccines cause autism. That was my earlier book that vaccines did not cause Rachel’s autism. And Rachel, by the way, was diagnosed at the Yale Child Study Center when I was on the faculty here and to debunk all that, but it pivoted, and it took on a political dimension starting in Texas with the Republican Tea Party, and now it’s unfortunately become full-on embraced by the House Freedom Caucus and Fox News and the far right. And I talk about the evolution of that and why it’s difficult to talk about, but the reason my dad came up was amongst the threats that I get either online or even real stalkings, is they say “the army of patriots” is coming to hunt me down.

Well, my first response is, I don’t know why you need an army of patriots. Now at home it’s just me and Ann and Rachel and the cat. You’d think a single patriot or two patriots were enough. But other than that is to say, “Wait a minute, guys, who are the patriots here? I mean, this is a nation. United States of America is built on a nation of science and technology.” In our great research universities like Yale University and Baylor College of Medicine and others, we’re the patriots, not these chuckleheads who attack science and scientists. My dad was in college, he was at Trinity College actually in Hartford and was told if he signs here for the Navy V-12 program, they’ll send him to medical school. And of course it was at a tough time in the war and they sent him to the Pacific Theater, and he was on a landing ship transport ship in Okinawa and Saipan in the Philippines and never—

Harlan Krumholz: That’s a patriot.

Peter Hotez: I said, “I know what a patriot is. That’s a patriot, right?” So he came back from the war. The rhetoric that’s being used. So there’s really two themes to the book. One is too often, we are calling all this anti-vaccine stuff or phony baloney about COVID origins as “misinformation” or “infodemic.” And I say, “No, it’s not any of those things because that implies that it’s just random junk on the internet.” And it’s not that. The point of the book is to say it’s organized, it’s well financed, and it’s politically motivated, and it’s a very nefarious but sophisticated anti-vaccine, anti-science ecosystem. And we could talk about that.

The second point of the book is it’s not just targeting the science; it’s targeting the scientists and trying to portray us as public enemies or enemies of the state. And you’re seeing that play out now with the subcommittee House hearings trying to parade very serious scientists in front of C-SPAN cameras to try to humiliate them. And I said, “Wait a minute. This is United States of America. We don’t do this.” Again, this is a nation built on science and technology.

I think for me, it’s been one of the hardest books I’ve ever had to write. It’s the hardest thing to talk about because it means you have to talk about partisan politics. All of our training, and I even have a section of the book of, how do we even talk about this? And I haven’t found a way to talk about it other than to talk about it. So I talk about it, which basically that says, “Look, I understand as a physician or scientist, all of our training says we have to be politically neutral and not talk about inconvenient things like Republicans and Democrats or liberals or conservatives.” Not that I want to talk about it, but the truth is, the aggression is coming from one side and with a killing effect because what the data shows is that 200,000 Americans needlessly perished during this COVID pandemic. 200,000, including 40,000 in my state of Texas, because they were targeted by members of the House Freedom Caucus and certain senators, and I document the role of Fox News in this and certain podcasters. They were victims. They were victims of this targeted aggression.

The information also shows that the deaths overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated who were targeted were in red states, red being Republican, blue being Democrat, and the redder the county, the lower the immunization rate and higher the death rate. So much so that David Leonhardt of The New York Times just calls it “red COVID.” And the data is so striking that the one person I quote from the Kaiser Family Foundation said, “If you wanted to ask me one question about whether a person was vaccinated or not, and I can only know one thing about that person. It would be knowing their political affiliation.” It’s not that we care about their—

Harlan Krumholz: They’re killing voters.

Peter Hotez: Yeah, it’s totally self-defeating. Absolutely. In fact, one of the political pundits from the Republicans even mentions that “it could actually affect our ability to win elections and closely contested elections or swing counties.” So I make the point look, I mean, I don’t care about your conservative or whatever you call this extremist views. That’s part of being an American. You’re allowed to have that, but somehow we’ve got to figure out a way to uncouple the anti-science from it, because...take that out of the canon. I mean, I’m not commenting about whether you favor Putin over Ukraine or whether you believe the election was stolen. That’s not my purview or really even interest, but my interest when it spills over into my lane is to say, “Wait a minute. Don’t adopt these anti-vaccine attitudes or the other anti-science stuff being put out there because that’s going to kill you.”

The evidence is 200,000 Americans have died in multiple ways of accounting for that that I go through in the book. So the point is what used to be phony baloney about autism has now become a lethal societal force in the United States.

Howard Forman: I want to come back to the autism discussion because we’re right now around the 25th anniversary of the famously discredited Wakefield paper, which people used to espouse an anti-vaccine movement based on causation with autism, which it is not. There is no connection. But you devoted a separate book, and not only that, but did so putting your daughter at the center of that. Can you speak a little about what it was like to have to commit to doing that and putting your own personal life on the line to explain to people why this was, as you call it, phony baloney?

Peter Hotez: Yeah. The book’s called Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism. It actually talks about when she was diagnosed at the Yale Child Study Center and what that meant for us. And at the time we were first living in Westville and then in Cheshire and growing up with Rachel. We have three other kids not on the autism spectrum. So kind of putting it out there with two messages, one with detailing the vast amount of evidence showing there’s no link between vaccines and autism. And the anti-vaccine groups keep on moving the goalposts, and you never really can pin them down exactly what their concern is. First they said it was the measles, mumps, & rubella vaccine that did this. A live virus vaccine. That’s what the Wakefield paper, that was all about, but that was debunked and showed that kids who got the MMR vaccine were no more likely to acquire autism than the kids who didn’t.

But then it was thimerosal preservative in vaccine—that’s what RFK Jr. was pushing for a long time. And then spacing vaccines too close together, aluminum in vaccines. So it goes through all that. Then it also talks about an alternative narrative, what autism is, because we did whole exome genomic sequencing on Rachel and—my wife Ann and I—and found Rachel’s autism gene, which is similar to many of the others involved in neuronal connections and communications. Many of them had been reported by the Broad Institute at Harvard, MIT. Many of them are neuronal cytoskeleton genes, like Rachel. So the point is there’s an alternative explanation. It was a hard book to write about because also, I’m writing about my daughter and the whole bioethics of that too. So I asked Art Caplan, who’s a very well-known bioethicist, who’s a terrific guy.

Howard Forman: He is.

Peter Hotez: You might even want to have him on your podcast if you haven’t already. But he wrote the foreword for the book, and I wanted that to kind of talk about what that meant as well. I think that had an effect of taking some of the wind out of the sails of the autism piece. It also made me public enemy number one or two with the anti-vaxxers, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on his Instagram began calling me the “OG Villain”— which, I’m so old and square, I had to look up what that meant. The original gangster villain. So thanks for inviting the original gangster villain on this podcast, but it did a public service. That also stimulated the anti-vaccine movement to look for a new thing. The new thing became getting adopted through this propaganda of health freedom, medical freedom by the Republican Tea Party in Texas, and ultimately full-on embraced by members of the House Freedom Caucus, and not everyone, but several of them, and Senators Rand Paul and Ron Johnson, Wisconsin.

Then I document in this new book two groups, Media Matters, a watchdog group, and a group out of ETH Zurich, the Federal University of Science and Technology in Switzerland, which is where Einstein studied as an undergraduate, documented how the nighttime Fox News anchors every night during that terrible Delta and BA.1 Omicron waves filled their broadcasts with anti-vaccine content, falsely discrediting the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. The problem is so many Americans went down that rabbit hole and refused to get a vaccine. And Joe Rogan, who I always was fond of, started inviting all these anti-vaccine activists on his podcast in 2021. And that had an effect. So it was this whole ecosystem of elected leaders, governors like Ron DeSantis, members of the House Freedom Caucus, senators amplified on Fox News, podcasters, so that people basically out of political allegiance did not get vaccinated. It made no sense at one level, but it made sense at the other.

Harlan Krumholz: Well, let me give you a chance to explain this part because you’ve talked about the importance of engagement. Of course it was widely reported that RFK Jr. wanted to debate you and that you thought that that would be a fool’s errand to debate someone like this. Give us your view about how did you make that decision and what you’re thinking about the proper way to engage in writing a book one way, but other ways that...what should we be doing?

Peter Hotez: Well, RFK Jr. and I have a history of sorts. In 2017 when he came out and said that President Trump was going to bring him in to head of Vaccine Commission, a lot of us were wringing our hands. And I’d gotten a call shortly afterwards from... I’ll never forget it, my assistant said, “Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci are on the phone. Can you talk with them?” I said, “I guess so. Yeah.” And then basically, “Peter, we’d like you to see if you can have a conversation with RFK Jr. We’ll arrange to be mediated by a neutral person. Because you have a daughter with autism, you can explain why there’s no link between vaccines and autism.” So I did. I had a series of phone conversations and then email exchanges and it was very unproductive. He wasn’t open to my suggestions or my information, and he kept on this whole whack-a-mole of keep on switching up what his concerns were.

So I knew it wasn’t going to be productive. When I was invited to do this, I said, “Well, there’s two reasons I don’t want to do it. One is, first of all, I don’t want to legitimize it because there were other forces at work.” They were sort of putting RFK Jr. out there as a viable third-party candidate, and they needed serious people to legitimize him, and I wasn’t interested in helping them because of all of his anti-vaccine aggression. And second, I said, “It’s not really how science is done.” And I also knew it wouldn’t be productive because he moved the goalposts on a podcast just like he did in our conversations. And I also said, “I don’t really think of science as being done this way.” I mean, we know how science is done. We write our papers, we submit them to journals for peer review. We get critical feedback, we revise our papers, we go to scientific conferences, we present our papers in front of critical audiences. It’s a very effective process.

I can’t think of too many instances where science was effectively done through a public debate. And I think I even said on...I forget if it was MSNBC or maybe it was Mehdi Hasan. I said, “I’ll talk with Joe Rogan, but if they have RFK Jr., they’re just going to turn it into The Jerry Springer Show.” For those of us who are old enough to remember what Jerry Springer was.

Harlan Krumholz: In a way, it’s the challenge because engaging with someone in that way does elevate them. It gives this false equivalence to the points of view. And yet there is a need to be able to fact-check and be clear about it. But yeah.

Peter Hotez: And also, the fact that he kept on switching up what alleging. I knew that was going to be frustrating. And then he had apologized twice for comparing vaccines to the Holocaust already, and then he went and did something again.

Harlan Krumholz: That was a weird thing, right?

Peter Hotez: that.

Harlan Krumholz: Go ahead. He said that the virus was designed to spare Ashkenazi Jews.

Peter Hotez: Yeah, yeah. It’s these old antisemitic tropes, even though he swears up and down he’s not antisemitic and he keeps on bringing stuff like this up again.

Howard Forman: Well, because that’s what he’s hearing. I mean, it is interesting. It ties together with another point that you brought up on Twitter a week or two ago. You said, what is it about this connection between cryptocurrency grifters and anti-vax activists? So just recently Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, and I thought his quote was really interesting. He said, “Anti-vax agitation and crypto enthusiasm are both aspects of a broader rise of know-nothingism, one whose greatest strength lies in an intellectually inbred community of very wealthy men.” And it ties to what you’re saying because RFK and many others have become sort of enthralled of these incredibly wealthy, mostly men who then feed—

Harlan Krumholz: But of all the things to go after, I mean, if you’ve got this kind of free time to go after something in the world, of all the things you go after, why this thing?

Howard Forman: But it resonates. So Peter, explain to our audience.

Peter Hotez: Well, one of the things that I say in the book is this is...and I actually had to start talking to political scientists or historians that look at authoritarian regimes, like Ruth Ben-Ghiat at NYU was very helpful for me. I would read the writings of Anne Applebaum or even Hannah Arendt and the origins of totalitarianism. All three point out that part of the canon of stuff that authoritarian regimes do is they target the intelligentsia and specifically the scientists and the science. And the most extreme example is—

Harlan Krumholz: What Mao did in China.

Peter Hotez: Or what Stalin did. He sent Vavilov the Mendelian geneticist to the Gulag for Lysenko, even though his theories killed millions of peasants.

Howard Forman: And the Russians or Sakharov, as you talked about.

Peter Hotez: That’s right. This is what the far right is doing. So again, it’s part of the canon, the Putin over Ukraine, the election was stolen and watch out for those scientists and the science because that’s part of the elitism. Even though it’s billionaires that are actually promoting it. I have a whole chapter in the book of this is what Stalin did, this is what Viktor Orban does in Hungary. It’s what Bolsonaro did in Brazil, is target science and scientists.

Howard Forman: Can you explain for our audience the parameters of what the health freedom movement is and why it’s actually gone way beyond our borders?

Peter Hotez: Well, this concept of health freedom as the debunking of autism, it was hard to ignore. I think they needed a new thing. And it started, I think, around vaccines when the California legislature shut down vaccine exemptions after a large measles epidemic in Orange County and Marin County. And they said, “From now on, if you want to send your kids to school, the kids have to be vaccinated.” And I supported that, and that also produced this backlash saying, “Hey, you can’t tell us what we want to do with our kids.” So we started to see this steep rise. What you started to see was PAC money coming to support anti-vaccine activists. I hate to use the word conservative because there’s not really anything “conservative” about it. It’s kind of a label they use for it. But basically far-right extremist PAC money was going to support anti-vaccine activist groups in Texas.

That’s what came off the rails during COVID-19. So you take Houston, which is a pretty liberal city overall, but I gave grand rounds for instance, in East Texas at University of Texas-Tyler, which is a very conservative area. And basically everyone you talked to lost a loved one because they refused the COVID vaccine during the Delta wave. And that’s after vaccines were widely available. So that’s when you really start to understand that. And it’s heartbreaking, right? I don’t know if you know Robert Harrington, the chair of medicine at Stanford. I think he’s going to be the new Dean of—

Howard Forman: He’s a good friend. Great guy.

Peter Hotez: Terrific guy. He’s going to be the new dean at Cornell. He had me out there giving medical grand rounds. And I said, “Look, if my car had broken down with a flat tire and you gave me the choice for it to be broken down in Palo Alto, California, where Stanford is, or East Texas, I’d pick East Texas in a second.” Palo Alto, California, is very wealthy. Everybody would drive right past. In East Texas, people would be fighting over who’d be the first to help you change your tires. So these are amazing people who were victimized by this far-right aggression. And it’s heartbreaking. The reason we have to talk about it now is because it is killing people. So what I say is, “Look, I did my MD and PhD. After Yale, I went to Rockefeller and Cornell for my MD-PhD. I wanted to make vaccines. I’m doing that.”

But now part of being a vaccine scientist for me is also dealing with all of the anti-vaccine aggression because that’s also part of saving lives. Even though it’s unpleasant and it puts you in a very scary, dark place in the world because now I have Steve Bannon publicly calling me a criminal. When he first did that, I thought, “Well, the guy knows what he’s talking about, right?” So Steve Bannon is going after—Roger Stone’s going after me. Marjorie Taylor Greene on her Steve Bannon War Room podcast is going after me and Tucker Carlson’s going after me.

Harlan Krumholz: Well, I think Peter, the thing to me is, one, you’ve exemplified what courage under fire is like, and it hasn’t slowed you. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be getting these death threats and these kinds of things. This isn’t just someone publicly disparaging you. These are people who are actually making threats who likely have...some of them are just unstable, dangerous people. But you’ve persisted that remarkable courage. It makes me think also the importance of all of us in the scientific community holding hands and supporting science, and not just standing by, but being actively supportive of....

Peter Hotez: Yeah. Well, this is why I’m so grateful for coming on this podcast because too often, I think it was MLK said—not that I’m comparing myself to MLK, but he said, “It’s not so much the words of the enemies. It’s the silence of the friends that’s often the hardest part.” And you don’t hear from the scientific societies or the National Academies much or the college university presidents. I understand part of it is they see me getting beat up and they don’t want to deal with that. But also, I think part of it is in many cases, their donors are coming from that political side or they’re accepting congressional money. So it means that there’s not a lot of us out there that are crying foul and calling attention to it as well.

I’m worried that this is the warmup act, that it’s not only going to affect COVID vaccines, but it’s going to spill over to all childhood immunizations. I also worry that’s going to affect how we act as professional scientists. I don’t think it’s going to stop as just vaccine scientists. We’re seeing all the virology being threatened right now. You’re seeing what’s happening at the NIH. They want to shut down international research by making these unrealistic demands saying they want you to have access to the notebooks of all of your international collaborators. Who’s going to do that? You’re going to translate your scientific notebooks from Vietnamese into English, and then is your general counsel at Yale going to sign off on it? I don’t think so. So it’s going to shut down international research, and so we have to be willing to push back some, even though it takes us into a scary place.

Howard Forman: I’ll end with another quote that I think really applies to you very well, and that is, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And while that quote has multiple attributions, the truth of it remains. And we’re very lucky to have you. Your book, The Deadly Rise of Anti-Science, it’s an easy read. It’s a meticulous read, but it’s also a painful read at times to realize the challenges we face. But I appreciate you so much for writing it and joining us on the podcast.

Harlan Krumholz: Yeah. Thank you, Peter.

Peter Hotez: Thank you.

Harlan Krumholz: Amidst your very busy schedule, you took time to write this book as a service to the country. And that’s just another thing. Your time is so valuable. You’re so busy doing so many different things. You’ve invested in this communication and education piece. Anyway, thank you.

Peter Hotez: I’m sure the book’s going to endear me to a lot of interesting people.

Howard Forman: We’re with you. We are backing you.

Peter Hotez: But I’ll be at Yale in October, so I look forward to seeing both of you.

Howard Forman: We’re looking forward to it.

Harlan Krumholz: Thank you so much, Peter.

Howard Forman: Thank you.

Harlan Krumholz: Well, that was terrific. I’m so glad we got them on. Howie, all credit to you for booking Peter Hotez.

Howard Forman: I’m so thankful that he joined and he speaks so fondly about you. It was great to see both of you on the screen at once.

Harlan Krumholz: He’s amazing. You’ve been listening to Health & Veritas with Harlan Krumholz and Howie Forman.

Howard Forman: So how did we do? To give us your feedback or to keep the conversation going, you can find this on Twitter.

Harlan Krumholz: Are we calling it Twitter? We’re going to keep calling it Twitter, darn it.

Howard Forman: That’s right.

Harlan Krumholz: I’m @HMKYale. That’s H-M-K Yale.

Howard Forman: And I’m @TheHowie. That’s at T-H-E H-O-W-I-E. You can also email us at, aside from Twitter or X or whatever. And our podcast, I’m fortunate to be the faculty director of the healthcare track and founder of the MBA for Executives program at the Yale School of Management. Feel free to reach out via email for more information on our innovative program. So you can check out our website at

Harlan Krumholz: Health & Veritas is produced with the Yale School of Management, the Yale School of Public Health. Thanks to our researchers, Ines Gilles and Sophia Stumpf, and to our producer, Miranda Shafer. They are amazing. Talk to you soon, Howie.

Howard Forman: Thanks very much. And to our listeners, we’ll be back to a regular schedule soon. But thanks for joining us for this special podcast. Thanks, Harlan.