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California is facing an epidemic of Whooping Cough, a communicable disease that can be deadly, especially to infants. Since the 1940's, Whooping Cough has been controlled by vaccination, but some parents refuse to get shots for their kids. The highest rates of so-called “personal belief waivers” are in some of the wealthiest, best educated communities and that's also where there's the most Whooping Cough. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, even White House insiders concede that the President's strategy in Afghanistan may be in trouble, on the ground and in Washington. What are the objectives? What are the alternatives and prospects for women's rights and civil war?  

Banner image: Public health nurse Vickie Porter prepares a syringe of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine. Photo: Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Andrea Brody

Main Topic Whooping Cough Makes a Comeback in California 24 MIN, 42 SEC

First, California's officially declared epidemic of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough, is the worst such outbreak since the 1950's.  It's an awful, sometimes deadly, disease that can suffocate infants who cough so hard they can't catch their breath.  And it's highly contagious.  Since the 1940's vaccinations have reduced the deaths from Whooping Cough almost to zero. Public health officials are urging parents to vaccinate their children, but in California, parents can easily opt out by signing what are called "personal belief waivers." We hear more from investigative reporter Christina Jewett, LA County Public Health Director Jonathan Fielding and To the Point producer Katie Cooper, who spoke with several parents in Santa Monica.

Guests:
Christina Jewett, Center for Investigative Reporting (@JewettCW)
Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Katie Cooper, Producer, To the Point/Which Way, LA?

Main Topic In Afghanistan, More War or Reconciliation? 27 MIN

Congress is likely to give the President $33 billion more to support his "surge" in Afghanistan.  But a prime Republican supporter, Richard Lugar of Indiana, says the mission lacks "clarity" or "a clear definition of success."  Democrat John Kerry is suggesting analogies to the war in Vietnam.  The President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, says "continued or increased involvement" in Afghanistan is not worth America's  "investment of blood and treasure."

Guests:
Jonathan Broder, CQ Roll Call
Michael Semple, Harvard University
Fauzia Kofi, Member, Afghan Parliament
Rachel Reid, Afghanistan Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Austin Long, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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