Joe Biden’s administration has relied on celebrity influence to help in its promotion of Covid-19 vaccines to the public, and according to an email making the rounds on social media, the White House is seeking to target kids as young as 12 with the celebrity-led content.
In a screenshot shared by Newsmax host Benny Johnson of the confidential “White House PR email” sent to various TikTok influencers, the social media stars are told to “ask questions” to Fauci about the vaccines on behalf of communities.
“There is a massive need to grow awareness within the 12-25 age demo,” the email reads.
The message ends by saying there are “only a few available slots.” It is labeled as “not for public distribution.”
The White House was already widely mocked this week for a video featuring TikTok and Instagram star Benny Drama ‘interning’ at the White House for the day, booking a nail appointment for Press Secretary Jen Psaki, and only briefly discussing Covid-19 vaccines.
The White House has partnered with the firm Village Marketing and also Made to Save for its campaign to use influencers to promote vaccinations, according to the New York Times.
Critics have argued that celebrities such as Benny Drama and 18-year-old musician Olivia Rodrigo – who discussed vaccines with Fauci in a recent video – are likely not best-suited to pitch inoculations to more conservative crowds, who remain more hesitant about getting jabbed. Psaki, however, has defended the White House’s strategy, saying officials are trying to “meet people where they are” on social media.
The alleged White House email has only sparked further mockery of the administration’s influencer-based promotion plan, as well as outrage at the promotional efforts targeting minors.
“Is this the best way for our public health officials to spend their time in the ‘midst of a global pandemic’ and ‘Delta variant’ panic?” Benny Johnson asked after posting the email.
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