Counties across the United States with low vaccination rates are starting to see COVID cases begin to rise again, as the delta variant makes its way across the country. As such, President Joe Biden is pulling out the big guns in a plea to young people to get vaccinated. While millions of Americans have gotten their jabs, young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 are reluctant to get vaccinated because they aren't worried about developing severe cases of COVID-19.
So Biden bravely did what no president has done before him: He posted a thirst trap on Instagram. No one is immune from a thirst trap, after all. Biden posted the photo of his younger self on Tuesday with the caption, "I know this young person would've gotten vaccinated, but we've got to get other young people protected as well. Who's willing to help?"
It wasn't long before the comments started rolling in, and people had a lot of feelings. "This young person was also fine as hell," wrote one person, commenting on young Joe. Another noted, "Lmao joe was a dish back in the day." Not a snack, a whole dish. "Are your DMs open, Joe?" asked yet another. "Not the President with a Tuesday morning thirst trap," someone noted, while someone else commented, "potus pulling out the thirst trap, it must be serious."
Indeed, once the COVID vaccination rate situation becomes serious enough for the president to post thirst traps on Instagram, it's pretty serious. Just 38% of young people ages 18 to 29 have received at least one vaccine dose, the lowest rate among any age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Public health experts are alarmed at the slow vaccination rate among young people. "It's a problem because young people are out and about and social," Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told The Wall Street Journal. "They're more likely to be interacting with more people than a 75-year-old." Further, the virus is more easily spread between unvaccinated people.
The Biden administration has taken a number of steps to try and get young people vaccinated, from the White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge to a partnership with Snapchat, which has a user base that's mostly made up of internet users between ages 15 to 35. The president and Dr. Anthony Fauci are also pairing up with pop star Olivia Rodrigo to record a series of videos geared toward convincing young people of the importance of getting vaccinated.
At the end of the day, vaccination is our best tool to keep each other safe. And if a pic of Young Joe is enough to encourage more young people to get their jabs, then keep the presidential thirst traps coming.