As part of her White House visit on Wednesday (July 14) aimed at encouraging young Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Olivia Rodrigo got together with Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor on the virus to President Biden, to read some tweets from their fans.
The pair sat together — at the appropriate distance — in one of the ornate rooms at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as they scrolled through some comments from their respective admirers. “If Olivia Rodrigo tells you to get vaccinated, you get vaccinated,” the “Drivers License” singer read as Fauci parried with, “I got my first dose of the Fauci Ouchie.”
They got a good laugh at some of the comments, with Fauci chuckling at one person who wrote that they recently scored an A on an exam in their immunology course, which gave the public health specialist the perfect opening to drop a little science. “When you get vaccinated, your body makes an immune response that’s going to protect you against the virus,” he said. “So maybe this person can go and talk about the immunology of getting vaccinated.”
The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest household survey reports that vaccine hesitancy declined from 21.6% between Jan. 6-18, to 10.8% from June 23 to July 5, though some states continue to have stubbornly high rates of folks who have declined to get immunized. Among the most hesitant states are Wyoming (25.6%), West Virginia (22.4%) and North Dakota (22.2%), which has contributed to 49 out of the 50 states seeing a surge in cases over the past week due to the highly contagious Delta variant. The virus has has killed more than 608,000 Americans and sickened over 34 million over the past 16 months.
Rodrigo got a kick out of one note: “Olivia RodriGO to the vaccine clinic,” she said, laughing, “all of the funny puns as long as you’re getting vaccinated. That’s great, whatever it takes.” Some of the notes were about vaccine dreams, Fauci candles and bobbleheads or weepy visits to the clinic. “Did anyone else spend their Friday afternoon driving to their second vaccine appointment and crying to Olivia Rodrigo or was that just me?” one fan wondered.
Olivia said she was “so happy” that she was soundtracking someone’s vaxx trip. After one tweeter expressed their desire to make a Rodrigo concert their first show back, the singer-songwriter smiled and said, “Get your vaccines. I’m so excited to tour one of these days. And I’m just so excited to go to a concert — aren’t you?”
Fauci promised Rodrigo she would “faint” if he told her his favorite ever concert: a late 1950s Motown revue with the Temptations and the Four Tops at the Paramount Theater in New York. “I’m sorry, I’m a really old guy,” Fauci said, as Rodrigo had to explain to him what “Man Crush Mondays” means. “The sooner all of us get vaccines the sooner we can like hang out with our friends and sing songs and all of the fun things,” Rodrigo said.
One of the impediments to reaching the president’s stated goal of getting the nation fully vaccinated is the incessant thrum of misinformation and disinformation on social media platforms and conservative media outlets. “I am urging all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy wrote in a 22-page advisory released on Thursday. “Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort.”
Murthy said two-thirds of people who are not vaccinated “either believe common myths about the COVID-19 vaccine or think some of those myths might be true.”
Watch Rodrigo and Fauci read the tweets below.