The Biden administration is turning to a new secret weapon to get young people vaccinated: Disney actress/singer Olivia Rodrigo.
The recording artist, who stars in the latest “High School Musical” reboot, met with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci Wednesday as part of their efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy.
Biden announced the actress’ visit on Twitter, saying, “Olivia Rodrigo is stopping by the White House today with a clear message to young people: get vaccinated. It’s the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the dangerous new COVID-19 variants. Head to http://vaccines.gov to find a clinic near you.”
During a joint presser with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Rodrigo said, “I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination. I am in awe of the work President Biden and Dr. Fauci have done and was happy to help lend my support.”
Rodrigo is the latest star to push the vaccine, joining such notables as Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, and Christie Brinkley. But according to The New York Times, such celebrity promotions aren’t necessarily effective. The outlet investigated in May, concluding that fame doesn’t often equal credibility on medical issues:
“Epidemiologists say there are plenty of caveats and potential pitfalls — and little scientific evidence to prove that the endorsements actually boost vaccine uptake.
‘Very few people actually do give the weight of expertise, for better or worse, to celebrities,’ said René F. Najera, an epidemiologist and the editor of the History of Vaccines website, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
‘There’s some shift there now with social media and social influence in the younger age groups,’ he added. “But for the most part, we still listen more to our peers than to some figurehead.’”
As The Daily Wire has reported, the administration failed to reach its goal of 70% of the population vaccinated by July 4. As a result, it has begun employing new methods to combat vaccine hesitancy, including a door-to-door campaign that will see government officials going to homes to encourage Americans to get the shot.
“In today’s briefing we discussed how our administration is going to devote the remainder of the summer to a special focus on five ways to make gains and getting those of you who are unvaccinated vaccinated,” Biden said during a July 6 press conference announcing the home visits. “Because here’s the deal. We are continuing to wind down the mass vaccination sites that did so much in the spring to rapidly vaccinate those eager to get their first shot and their second shot for that matter if they needed a second. Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes door to door, literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people, protected from the virus.”
Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) criticized the plan, tweeting, “How about don’t knock on my door. You’re not my parents. You’re the government. Make the vaccine available, and let people be free to choose. Why is that concept so hard for the left?”