With the United States scrambling resources to get people vaccinated as the country stares at another wave of the pandemic, the Joe Biden administration is adopting “cooler” ways to boost inoculation drives.
To encourage the youth to get a jab, the 78-year-old President has turned to internet sensation the ‘Dude with Sign’. Photos of the pair holding placards has created a buzz online.
Inviting the Instagram celeb who has over 7.6 million followers to the White House, Biden posed holding a cardboard sign over his head. “Lets Look Out For Each Other And Get Vaccinated,” the popular star’s sign read. While standing next, Biden mirroring his gestures, held a sign which read: “This Dude Gets It, Folks.”
For the special engagement, Seth Phillips, the brain behind the popular account ditched his usual plain tees and pants and swapped with a tan suit, and aviators. The President, too, looked equally stylish, donning a beige suit and shades himself.
Ever since late 2019, Phillips has been gaining popularity on the internet by holding signs at random places on the streets of New York. ‘Stop replying-all to company-wide emails,’ was one of his earliest signs that shot him to global fame.
‘Seinfeld is way better than Friends’ is another message of his that broke the internet after he strategically posed below a Friends billboards.
As the photos of Phillips and Biden were shared online, it created a huge buzz, not only getting millions of likes but also starting conversations regarding vaccination.
— ☆MaryAnnInVA☆?? (@MaryanninVA) August 14, 2021
Getting vaccinated is an act of kindness and humanity.
— Bill Adler (@billadler) August 14, 2021
— ☮️?Fully Vaxxed Girl♐️ ⚛️ (@alexmic74) August 13, 2021
If this doesn’t convince rural Americans in the south nothing will https://t.co/BtZ8ottt5S
— Fiber Optic Gates ? (@accountable_gov) August 14, 2021
I love how creative the WH is getting with their outreach.
I hope it saves lives. https://t.co/GNGmG1DDOh
— ????Ꭰҽղąҽ ???? (@DenaePFA) August 13, 2021
Dude with Sign has arrived! What a cool way to promote vaccination. ?❤️ https://t.co/2iuObdYmzW
— Diana Dean (@readingwhilemom) August 14, 2021
— Chris Linn (@ChrisLinnusa) August 14, 2021
However, the viral celebrity is not the only one. The White House has been partnering with influencers and popular young artistes like singer Olivia Rodrigo, TikToker Ellie Zeiler, and comedian Benny Drama in its effort to encourage youth vaccinations.
Joe Biden’s America. pic.twitter.com/Srd4omUj5t
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) August 9, 2021
Coronavirus cases and hospitalisations in the US are at a six-month high, fueled by the rapid spread of the Delta variant. Hospitalisations rose 40 per cent and deaths, a lagging indicator, registered an 18 per cent uptick in the past week.