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Olivia Rodrigo visits the White House to help boost COVID-19 vaccine push among younger Americans

  • Olivia Rodrigo visited the White House to meet with President Biden and Dr. Fauci in a push to vaccinate younger Americans.
  • Rodrigo spoke at a Wednesday White House press briefing, expressing excitement at the vaccination push.
  • Biden is pushing to inoculate more Americans, with vaccination rates having stalled in recent weeks.
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Pop star Olivia Rodrigo on Wednesday visited the White House to meet with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, in a push for younger Americans to receive vaccinations to fight against COVID-19.

Speaking from the White House press briefing room podium, Rodrigo, who will record videos to promote the vaccine, expressed excitement at the opportunity to reach a younger audience.

“I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination,” she said. “I’m in awe of the work President Biden and Dr. Fauci have done and was happy to help lend my support to this important initiative.”

She added: “It’s important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated, and actually get to a vaccination site, which you can do more easily than ever before, given how many sites we have and how easy it is to find them at vaccines.gov.”

Rodrigo’s visit is designed to serve as a bridge to Gen Z, or the generation generally regarded as the estimated 72 million Americans born between 1997 and 2012.

Once the videos are completed, they will be featured on the actress and singer’s social media channels, as well as the White House social accounts.

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Rodrigo, whose home congressional district in Southern California could potentially be altered through redistricting, released her critically-acclaimed debut album, “Sour,” in May, which has produced the hit singles “Drivers License,” “Deja Vu,” and “good 4 u.”

She is also known for her roles as Nina “Nini” Salazar-Roberts on the Disney+ series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and as Paige Olvera on the Disney Channel series “Bizaardvark.”

Rodrigo currently boasts over 14 million followers on Instagram and roughly 9.4 million fans on TikTok, in addition to 1.3 million Twitter followers and over 6 million YouTube subscribers.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was thrilled at Rodrigo’s visit, noting that the star herself offered to come to Washington, DC.

“We need to reach people, meet people where they are and speaking to young people — people who are under the age of 18, many of whom as we’ve seen across the country are huge Olivia Rodrigo fans — hearing from her that … getting vaccinated is a way to keep yourself safe, a way to ensure you can see your friends, a way you can ensure you can go to concerts, a way you can ensure that you can live a healthy life is an important part of what we’re trying to do here,” Psaki said.

She added: “I will say, not every 18-year-old uses their time to come do this so we appreciate her willingness to.”

Rodrigo’s trip to the White House was first announced on Instagram on Tuesday after Biden posted an old photo of himself on the social media platform.

“I know this young person would’ve gotten vaccinated, but we’ve got to get other young people protected as well,” the president wrote in the caption. “Who’s willing to help?”

Rodrigo responded: “i’m in! see you tomorrow at the white house!”

“You bet!” Biden replied.

This visit comes as the president has doubled down on efforts to vaccinate more Americans, but especially younger Americans, as the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread across the country.

CNN reported on Wednesday that the White House is thinking of additional ways to fight back against vaccine-related disinformation, which has allowed hesitancy to linger among many vulnerable populations.

According to the most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly a quarter of children aged 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated, the lowest of any eligible age group.

As of Wednesday, roughly 159.7 million American adults were fully vaccinated, representing 48.1% of the total population, based on CDC data.



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