March 11, 2021 -- Several former presidents and former first ladies are appearing in a national ad campaign aimed at building confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Two videos began airing on Thursday. One of the ads -- a 1-minute spot -- shows images of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter receiving their vaccinees, along with Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Rosalynn Carter.
“In order to get rid of this pandemic, it’s important for our fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” Bush says, adding at the end, “So roll up your sleeves and do your part.”
The other video -- a 30-second spot -- features Obama, Bush, and Clinton after President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January, speaking from Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Obama says the vaccines are the “first step to ending the pandemic and moving our country forward. It’s up to you.”
Former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump aren’t involved with the campaign. The couple were vaccinated before leaving the White House in January, but Trump didn’t allow any official photographs during his vaccination, according to NBC News.
Thursday’s ad campaign release was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring a global pandemic and the U.S. shutting down to contain the spread of the virus. The videos are being aired on local and national stations across the U.S., as well as digital and social media platforms.
In both ads, the former presidents say that COVID-19 vaccines are available and will soon be open to anyone who wants a shot. They add that vaccines are safe and that Americans should get one as soon as they are eligible.
“I’m getting vaccinated because we want this pandemic to end as soon as possible,” Carter says.
In one video, each former president talks about what he wants to “get back to” once the pandemic has been controlled. Obama says he wants to hug his mother-in-law and see her for her birthday. Clinton says he wants to go back to work and be able to move around. Bush says he’s looking forward to opening day in a full Texas Rangers baseball stadium.
“The science is clear,” Bush says. “These vaccines will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease.”