Newsmax’s Benny Johnson has posted a purported email the White House has been sending to social media influences, asking them to join the push for vaccinations among younger people.
The story: Johnson posted an image of a letter that, according to Johnson, a PR team that has been purportedly working with the White House sent to TikTok influences, offering them a one-on-one call with White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The email suggests that they would talk about the pandemic and vaccinations and says that the goal of the meeting would be to “educate young people around the vaccine as there is a massive need to grow awareness within the 12-25 age demo.”
The email is marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and notes that it is “not for public distribution.”
“We have a highly sensitive (but pretty incredible) opportunity we’d love to discuss for [redacted]. We have been working with Dr. Fauci and The White House,” the email reads, pointing to a piece in The New York Times, which identified the PR firm as Village Marketing, an influencer marketing agency, “and handpicked select influences to do an intimate 1×1 Zoom call with Dr. Fauci.”
“The goal is to have [redacted] ask questions on behalf of [redacted] community and educate young people around the vaccine as there is a massive need to grow awareness within the 12-25 age demo.”
“The White House team and our team agree that give [redacted] voice and influence within this crucial demo, [redacted] would be great for this special opportunity.”
The email concluded by asking the recipient to respond to the request.
How we got here: The email comes after the White House drew mounting backlash for a video posted online by social media comedian Benito Skinner, known by his stage name Benny Drama, who was recruited as part of the digital push to convince the COVID-19 vaccine-hesitant population to get vaccinated.
The video casts Skinner as a young White House intern named Kooper who works for press secretary Jen Psaki and shows a compilation of “a day in the life” as Kooper as an intern.
At one point in the video, Psaki tells Kooper that “we’ve vaccinated 160 million Americans.”
According to the Times, the White House has required more than 50 Twitch streamers, YouTubers, TikTokers, including singer Olivia Rodrigo to promote COVID-19 youth vaccination.
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