During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, one renowned scientist, in his famous bowtie, appeared daily on major news networks such as MSNBC, NPR, the BBC, and others.
Dr. Peter J. Hotez often went without sleep, working around the clock to develop a nonprofit COVID-19 vaccine and to keep the public informed. During that time, he was one of the most trusted voices on the pandemic and was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for
his selfless work. He also became one of the main targets of anti-science rhetoric that gained traction through conservative news media.
In this eyewitness story of how the anti-vaccine movement grew into a dangerous and prominent anti-science element in American politics, Hotez describes the devastating impacts it has had on Americans’ health and lives. As a scientist who has endured antagonism from anti-vaxxers and been at the forefront of both essential scientific discovery and advocacy, Hotez is uniquely qualified to tell this story. By weaving his personal experiences together with information on how the anti-vaccine movement became a tool of far-right political figures around the world, Hotez opens readers’ eyes to the dangers of anti-science. He explains how anti-science became a major societal and lethal force: in the first years of the pandemic, more than 200,000 unvaccinated Americans needlessly died despite the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines. Even as he paints a picture of the world under a shadow of aggressive ignorance, Hotez demonstrates his innate optimism, offering solutions for how to combat science denial and save lives in the process.