Investigative reporter Michelle Smith and Democracy reporter Ali Swenson relentlessly pursued unique examples of actual harm caused by the 2024 presidential candidate’s vaccine rhetoric.

The main characters included a couple whose son’s photo was used for a book about vaccine deaths, even though he’d never been vaccinated, while their dogged reporting hooked readers into the story with photos and video of the grieving family. The reporters also found mothers who had bought into anti-vaccine hype, politicians who were threatened by zealots, and dozens of deaths from the measles in Samoa after an anti-vaccine campaign there.

The story was widely used by newspapers, TV stations, and online and cited in national and Washington, D.C. political circles including