In a new public service announcement campaign, four former presidents are urging Americans to do their part to curb the COVID-19 pandemic by getting vaccinated.
What You Need To Know
- In a new PSA campaign, former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are urging Americans to do their part to curb the COVID-19 pandemic by getting vaccinated
- The only living ex-president who did not participate was Donald Trump
- One of the two ads shows photos of the ex-presidents and their respective first ladies being vaccinated
- The PSAs come at a time when vaccines are about to become more readily available to the American public but also as significant American skepticism remains
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama appear in the ads. The only living ex-president who did not participate was Donald Trump.
“This vaccine means hope,” Obama says in one of the two ads. “It will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease.”
In footage that was recorded separately, the former presidents then discuss what they’re looking forward to doing once life returns to normal.
“I want to go back to work, and I want to be able to move around,” Clinton says.
Obama says he wants to “visit with Michelle's mom, to hug her and see her on her birthday.”
“We’ve lost enough people and we've suffered enough damage,” Clinton says.
“In order to get rid of this pandemic, it's important for our fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” Bush adds.
“I’m getting vaccinated because we want this pandemic to end as soon as possible,” Carter says.
The minute-long ad also shows photos of the ex-presidents and their respective first ladies being vaccinated.
In another 30-second ad, Clinton, Bush and Obama appear together and speak directly to the camera.
“The science is clear: These vaccines will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease,” Bush says.
“That's the first step to ending the pandemic and moving our country forward,” Obama says. “It’s up to you.”
The PSAs, part of a collaboration between the Ad Council and the Covid Collaborative project, come at a time when vaccines are about to become more readily available to the American public but also as significant skepticism remains.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. will have enough vaccine by the end of May to inoculate every American adult. To date, nearly 62.5 million vaccine doses have been administered and nearly 33 million Americans, about 10% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, a Monmouth University poll released this week found that 24% of Americans are unwilling to get vaccinated. That number could potentially prevent the U.S. from achieving herd immunity.
The ads will begin airing this week nationwide on television and digital platforms, CNN reported.
The Ad Council did not directly answer a question from Spectrum News about whether Trump was invited to participate in the campaign. The nonprofit group said the project with the former presidents began back in December, when Trump was still in office, and noted that one of the ads was shot at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which Trump declined to attend. Carter also did not attend the inauguration.
Spectrum News has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
An adviser to the former president revealed earlier this month that Trump and his wife, Melania, were vaccinated at the White House in January. Unlike many other elected officials, Trump was vaccinated out of the public eye.
During his Feb. 28 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., Trump encouraged everyone to get vaccinated, saying, “So everybody, go get your shot.”
The Ad Council said it was “so pleased” that Trump advised Americans to get vaccinated.
Thirty-six percent of Republicans say they don’t plan to get vaccinated, compared to 6% of Democrats, according to the Monmouth survey.
Trump issued a statement Wednesday seeking credit for the vaccines.
“I hope everyone remembers when they’re getting the COVID-19 ... Vaccine, that if I wasn’t President, you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all,” he claimed.