WASHINGTON - Pop singer and songwriter Olivia Rodrigo made a trip to the White House Wednesday, where she met with the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The "Drivers License" singer and multi-platform recording artist met with President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci Wednesday, assisting in the administration’s efforts to get more youth vaccinated.
Video shared by the White House shows Rodrigo and Fauci reading vaccine tweets aloud.
One social media user tweeted, "I’m taking an immunology course and I got an A on my last exam. My immediate thought was, wouldn’t Dr. Fauci be proud of me?
Fauci immediately replied, "Absolutely."
(Credit: White House via Storyful)
Another user wrote, "Olivia RodriGO to the vaccine clinic."
"Very true," Rodrigo laughed. "All of the funny puns as long as you’re getting vaccinated.
During her visit, Rodrigo also joined White House press secretary Jen Psaki at her daily briefing.
At Wednesday’s briefing, Rodrigo addressed reporters.
"I am beyond honored and humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination. I am in awe of the work President Biden and Dr. Fauci have done and was happy to help lend my support to this important initiative," Rodrigo stated.
"It’s important to have conversations with friends and family members, encouraging all communities to get vaccinated and actually get to a vaccination site that 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 continued.
The news of her visit was first announced when Biden took to social media Tuesday writing, "We’ve got to get other young people protected as well. Who’s willing to help?"
Rodrigo replied, "I’m in! see you tomorrow at the white house!"
The Biden-Harris administration is making a continued push to get more young people vaccinated, including working with schools, pediatricians and summer camps — and now leveraging social media and celebrity influencers.
The administration has shifted vaccination messaging over the past few weeks to target a group health officials term the "movable middle" — some 55 million unvaccinated adults seen as persuadable, many of them under 30.
"Our work to reach young people where they are with information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, includes the President’s participation in the YouTube Town Hall with Dr. Fauci which drove millions of views to young people around vaccination efforts," the spokesperson said.
Fauci has also participated in several Tik Tok Q&As with young influencers.
Rodrigo is popular, especially with young people, with more than 28 million followers across all channels.
Her visit comes as the COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline, driven largely by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July gatherings.
During a COVID-19 task force press briefing Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said cases in the U.S. were up about 70% over the last week, hospital admissions were up 36% and deaths rose by 26%.
"There’s a clear message that is coming through: this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated," Walensky said. "We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. And communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well."
Nearly all hospital admissions and deaths, she said, are among the unvaccinated.
"If you’re not vaccinated, you remain at risk and our biggest concern is that we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and sadly deaths among the unvaccinated," Walensky continued.
Currently, 56.5% of American adults are fully vaccinated and 67.9% have at least one shot of the vaccine, according to CDC data.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.