The living former US presidents, with the exception of ex-POTUS Donald Trump, were joined by their spouses recently to promote national confidence in the COVID-19 vaccination in two ad campaigns released Thursday, according to copies of the videos shown by NBC News.
All of the living former presidents except Donald Trump have banded together for a national ad campaign designed to drive trust in COVID-19 vaccines. https://t.co/PqjcZcxAWJ— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) March 11, 2021
One of the videos, lasting a minute, shows images of former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as former first ladies Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, receiving their jabs.
The camera zooms in on the former presidents hailing the fact that the COVID-19 vaccines are available to millions of Americans.
"In order to get rid of this pandemic, it's important for our fellow citizens to get vaccinated…So roll up your sleeve and do your part," says Bush in the ad, which is part of the "It's Up To You" campaign.
In Bill Clinton’s words, inoculation paves the way for the US to "go back to work" and "to be able to move around."
"This is our shot," Clinton is heard saying, as close-ups of him and his wife being vaccinated are shown.
Barack Obama waxes sentimental, saying in the footage that he longs to hug his mother-in-law and see her on her birthday. George W. Bush shares his hopes of being able to attend a packed Texas Rangers stadium on Opening Day.
Jimmy Carter holds up his vaccination record card in the video, saying:
"Now it's up to you."
The ad is part of an ongoing initiative by the @AdCouncil as a broader vaccine campaign continues to rollout to reach a wide range of Americans.— Marty Swant (@martyswant) March 11, 2021
Here’s a second ad released at midnight: https://t.co/0G20vuufG9
The other, 30-second clip, offers footage of Clinton, Bush and Obama talking during President Joe Biden's inauguration in January.
The video, shot when a message was also recorded to tout a "peaceful transition of power" ahead of Biden's inauguration on 20 January, features Barack Obama saying that inoculation is the "first step to ending the pandemic and moving our country forward."
The videos are a joint effort of the Ad Council, which coordinates public service announcements, and COVID Collaborative, a group of health, education and economic experts, claim sources cited by the outlet.
The clips featuring the former presidents placed particular emphasis on the safety of the vaccines.
"The science is clear… these vaccines will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease. They could save your life," says Bill Clinton.
The three former POTUSes, Clinton, Bush and Obama, were reportedly vaccinated weeks earlier, having offered in December 2020 to make their inoculations public, with footage of the events saved for subsequent use by the campaign.
JUST POSTED: Former presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, Carter join ad campaign to win over vaccine skeptics.— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) March 11, 2021
“This vaccine means hope,” Obama says in one of the new ads going up today, part of @AdCouncil’s national effort. pic.twitter.com/ffmuOsVjSE
The release of the videos, claimed not to be affiliated with the Biden administration, was ostensibly timed to coincide with the US President’s plans to mark one year since the spread of COVID-19 had initiated a gradual shutdown of the country.
The two public service announcements are scheduled to air on national and local television stations across the country and on digital and social media platforms, says NBC News.
Former President Donald Trump and ex-FLOTUS Melania Trump were conspicuously absent from the campaign, having reportedly received their jabs before departing the White House in January.
There was no footage available of the former first couple’s vaccination, added sources. No official comment on the developments has yet been made by Donald Trump’s office.
The developments come ahead of the White House's national campaign aimed at reducing vaccine hesitancy, hoping to target Americans skceptical of the jabs, particularly African Americans, Latinos, rural residents and military families, according to recent data.
A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that among Black Americans, 43 percent say they want to “wait and see” how the jabs work for others, first.
Medical experts in the United States are calling on celebrities to get the #COVID19 vaccine to increase public confidence.— 9News Gold Coast (@9NewsGoldCoast) December 22, 2020
It comes after President elect @JoeBiden received the jab on live television.
Read more: https://t.co/YMW0ghuij5 @LexiDaish #9News pic.twitter.com/asWMzZgCz1
Joe Biden, who has vowed there will be enough jab doses for all eligible Americans by the end of May, publicised his vaccine shot, as did Vice President Kamala Harris, seeking to portray the three vaccines available in the US – Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Janssen - as safe, sources were cited as acknowledging.