Joe Biden joined some unlikely YouTube creators, including makeup gurus and two men who let animals and insects bite and sting them for views, to talk about vaccine hesitancy in a way appealing to younger viewers and encourage parents to get their children inoculated against coronavirus.
The president, seated along Dr. Anthony Fauci in the White House, held three separate virtual discussions as part of a ‘town hall’ where the creators were able to ask the duo questions related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
‘Not sure if you guys are familiar with our work, but it’s pretty wild,’ Coyote Peterson, one of the three men who make up the YouTube page ‘Brave Wilderness’, said to Biden and Fauci from a screen.
‘Mine’s really calm,’ Biden joked back.
Beauty gurus Manny MUA, a male, and Jacki Ain, a Nigerian-American who promotes diversity in the cosmetic community, also joined Biden and Fauci separately for a quick virtual chat.
President Joe Biden hosted a town hall along with Dr. Anthony Fauci that was released Monday where the duo took questions from YouTube creators about the coroanvirus vaccine to decrease hesitancy and encourage parents to get their kids inoculated
Two of the trio from ‘Brave Wilderness’ YouTube channel joined the chat – Coyote Peterson (right) and Mark Vins (left). The men teach about wilderness and adventure, but their most popular videos feature them being intentionally bitten or stung by animals and insects
Peterson said: ‘Not sure if you guys are familiar with our work, but it’s pretty wild… We get close with all sorts of animals that people would likely be afraid of: snakes, scorpions, sharks, even grizzly bears. And fear is usually a result of people not understanding a certain species. I can say that the same thing goes for shots and vaccines’
Male beauty guru Manny MUA, whose real name in Manuel Gutierrez Jr., asked Biden if he could only bring one beauty or skin product to a deserted island, what it would be. The president said he would bring sunscreen at the direction of first lady Jill Biden
Jacki Ain, a Nigerian-American beauty YouTuber who promotes diversity in the cosmetic community, asked questions about accessibility for minority communities
Coyote shared a split screen with fellow YouTuber Mark Vins during their segment – the third of their Brave Wilderness trio, Mario Aldeco, did not join the discussion.
‘We get close with all sorts of animals that people would likely be afraid of: snakes, scorpions, sharks, even grizzly bears,’ Peterson described of his YouTube channel.
‘And fear is usually a result of people not understanding a certain species,’ he added. ‘I can say that the same thing goes for shots and vaccines.’
‘What can you tell us that would alleviate any concerns parents might have in regards to getting vaccinated and why children who are the appropriate age should not be afraid of the vaccine?’
‘I talk about it in terms of teaching about obligations to other people,’ Biden said, dismissing parents’ concerns and instead telling them to focus on their obligation to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
‘It’s not just about them, it’s an obligation they have to their friends and other people,’ Biden said of children getting the vaccine.
Biden’s Deputy Principle Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre hosted the pre-recorded and edited event, giving little statements between each segment
Fauci clarified that parental questions about getting their kids vaccinated against COVID-19 are ‘reasonable’.
He also said that while the timeline of the vaccine creation and rollout may seem ‘rushed’, it’s really the result of decades of research and development.
Brave Wilderness’ most popular videos are those where they either confront dangerous animals for educational purposes or are stung or bitten by poisonous creatures
Manny MUA, whose real name is Manuel Gutierrez Jr., asked Biden if he could only bring one beauty or skin product to a deserted island, what it would be.
Biden said: ‘I think my wife, before I headed to the island, that ‘you’d better bring some sunscreen.”
On a more serious note, Gurierrez asked whether there’s any validity to concerns over so-called ‘vaccine passports’ to return to normal life or rumors that young and healthy people don’t need to get inoculated.
Biden and Fauci pushed back against both.
‘They are not exempt from getting serious illness, so you want to protect the youngsters,’ Fauci said of kids and teens. ‘Then there’s also the responsibility that you have of not being part of spreading the infection throughout the community.’
‘So you almost want to take what I call a ‘societal responsibility,’ he added. ‘Protecting children also protects society.’
Biden said the rumors of vaccine passports ‘plays to paranoia, particularly in younger people.’
When beauty YouTuber creator Jacki Ain asked about people having concerned, Fauci reassured the vaccines are safe.
‘The science that went into it is absolutely pristine. This is the result of decades of very intensive, basic and clinical research,’ Fauci said.
Many of Brave Wilderness videos feature the cast mates getting bitten or stung by some creature. Here Peterson is shown with an eel biting his neck
Here Vins poses for a photo for the latest video where he is stung by a Man O’ War jellyfish and uses pee to treat it
Ain, an African-American woman, also talked about how certain communities – especially those of color – have bigger problems with access to healthcare resources, like the vaccine.
Biden announced earlier this month that 60 per cent of American adults has received at least one dose of the vaccine and he set a new goal for July 4 to get that number to 70 per cent.
Also earlier in May, the Food and Drug Administration approved vaccinations for children 12 and older – opening it up to a new demographic not previously able to get inoculated and furthering hope for schools reopening in the fall.
Several states have stopped accepting their full shipments of the vaccine amid a severe drop in the number of doses administered. The administration announced it would start taking back doses to reallocate them to other states that have a higher demand.