On Day 88, President Joe Biden appeared alongside Hollywood glitterati and celebrity athletes to promote the Coronavirus vaccine in a slick, Sunday night TV special.
On Day 88, President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared in a star-studded, Sunday night special presented by Walgreens on NBC aimed at boosting Americans’ commitment to getting a Coronavirus vaccine, which is available to all American adults as of Monday, April 19.
Biden, Fauci, and former president Barack Obama were featured among an array of A- and B-list Hollywood stars, athletes, and musicians, including actors who play doctors on television. The event featured pre-recorded, scripted segments that promised to “separate fact from fiction” and “have a little fun along the way,” singer Ciara cooed while swiveling her hips for a sparse, masked, in-studio audience.
The president’s recorded remarks aired about halfway through the program.
“It’s free, it’s convenient, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19, including the new variants we’re seeing, to protect your loved ones, to help our economy recover, and to help get things back to normal,” Biden said.
If you know someone who needs a ride to a vaccine site, the president added, you should offer them a ride! (Fauci said just last week that even if you’re fully vaccinated, it’s “still not okay” to dine indoors—but apparently, driving an unvaccinated person to a vaccination site is recommended.)
Obama appeared alongside retired NBA stars Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal to banter about retirement and gambling and address concerns among minorities who may hesitate to receive the vaccine due to historic concerns about medical experimentation. In particular, Obama urged black Americans to forget historic fears related to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments—and put their faith in the fact that “the wealthy and powerful” have endorsed the vaccine.
“What was going on there was the government withheld treatment that was available for black men for syphilis,” the former president explained. “Look, if the wealthy and the powerful in our society are all lining up to get shots, that means everybody should know it’s a good thing to get.”
In a segment billed as “America’s leading physician talks to one of our favorite actors,” actor Matthew McConaughey, wearing aviator sunglasses, interviewed Fauci for a second time, having done so previously during Fauci’s 2020 media blitz. In a “true or false” section of the interview, Fauci described the statement, “There are long-term side effects from the COVID vaccination” as “False. False.”
However, official CDC guidance updated in March 2021 does not contain that same guarantee, saying instead that you should call a doctor “if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.”