Old Joe Biden has made a bold move that should convince all the holdouts to get vaccinated: he has appeared in a video with the Jonas Brothers, a Disney Channel pop band, imploring you to get the jab. Now what excuse do you have to hold out?
It’s unclear to whom this outreach is supposed to appeal. Who among Biden’s handlers decided that a cheesy video with a B-list pop group (apparently they had a hit song called “Sucker,” which seems particularly apt under the circumstances) would be just the thing to overcome the reluctance of vaccine skeptics?
The video itself multiplies the questions. There are three Jonas brothers, one of whom starts off the proceedings by shouting, “Bing bong.” Then another one comes up and shouts, “Are you vaccinated?” The vocals are, I’m told, a TikTok “sound;” TikTokers lip-synch and act to sounds when they make videos. The voices you hear in this video are actually those of people who were filmed on Coney Island.
Then we get a Jonas brother yelling, “Who’s the president, man? Who’s the president?” Another shouts, “Byron!” And again: “Who’s the president?” The third Jonas chimes in: “Byron!”
— Nick Jonas (@nickjonas) December 17, 2021
Byron? There is no doubt that the late author of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” and “Manfred” would be a vastly better president than Mr. Biden, but unfortunately, he wasn’t born in the United States and is now even less sentient than Old Joe himself. The Jonas Brothers’ insistence that the president is named “Byron” is apparently what someone shouted on Coney Island, and is supposed to be clever and move everyone to get the jab, but why anyone thought this is once again unclear.
Anyway, at the end of this cringefest, one of the Jonas Brothers stops the shouting and asks, “Did we get it?” Then, the twist: we see Old Joe himself, holding a phone as if he has caught video of the whole thing. He grins and says, “We got it,” and that’s that. Everyone get vaccinated now!
Back on planet earth, there has never before been a vaccine that people had to be cajoled by cute pop star videos to get. There has never before been a vaccine that governing authorities had to threaten people to get. People lined up to get the polio vaccine and myriad others, and were grateful for the opportunity. Why in this case do our self-anointed intellectual and moral superiors have to call out the Jonas Brothers and pose the president of the United States in a silly cameo in order to entice people to get the jab? Why do our superiors have to hector and insult those who remain reluctant to get the vaccine?
The reasons are clear. One is that there is growing concern about the side effects of the vaccines. CBS News reported that “the CDC on Thursday issued updated recommendations preferring Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s, in light of new data about the risk of a rare blood clotting side effect linked to the Johnson & Johnson shot.” As for Pfizer, according to RT on Sunday, “documents released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that drugmaker Pfizer recorded nearly 160,000 adverse reactions to its Covid-19 vaccine in the initial months of its rollout.”
Then there is the unfortunate but undeniable fact that the vaccines just don’t work as well as everyone expected them to. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported about a wedding at which “most if not all of the guests wore masks” and everyone was vaccinated. This wedding is now considered to be “the suspected origin of an outbreak of COVID-19 and the omicron variant among Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center staff.” Despite the fact that this was a group of “risk-averse” and “super responsible people,” their experience “shows just how vulnerable even vaccinated people remain to the virus when indoors and in groups.”
Meanwhile, the NFL just postponed three games because of a COVID outbreak, despite the fact that all players are require to be vaccinated. When people see stories of this kind, it is understandable that their skepticism would grow about the efficacy of the vaccine altogether. After all, when the vaccines were initially rolled out, only one or two jabs were needed; now a third is taken for granted and a fourth is in the offing. Meanwhile, those who express concerns about all this and more are vilified as “anti-science” and silenced on social media.
No amount of yelling, lip-syncing and mugging by the Jonas Brothers and President “Byron” is going to erase the bad impression created by the vaccines’ manifest failure and the administration’s increasing authoritarianism. If Biden’s handlers really want everyone to get vaccinated, they should send the Jonas Brothers home and address people’s actual concerns. But that is about as likely as Kamala Harris turning out, once Biden’s handlers’ regency is over, to be a great president.