Speaking over a Zoom call with former basketball players Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, Obama stressed the urgency of the situation and said that the sooner everyone can be vaccinated, the sooner life can return to normal.
“As the vaccine becomes more available, I want to make sure that our communities, particularly ones, African-American, Latino, as well as young people understand that this will save lives and allow people to get their lives back to normal. And the sooner we get more people vaccinated, the better off we’re going to be,” he said.
Barkley agreed, telling Obama that he’ll be getting his second vaccine the very next day. “I cannot wait,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to keep talking about the vaccine. So I’m telling my friends, ‘Yo, man, forget what happened back in the day. Every Black person, please go out and get vaccinated.”
O’Neal nodded. “I’m not worried about me and my family,” he said, noting how they had already been vaccinated due to having underlying health conditions. “I’m worried about the average mom and dad,” he concluded.
The special, also featuring Michelle Obama and Hamilton personality Lin-Manuel Miranda, airs on 18 April at 7PM on NBC in the US.
The broadcast is meant to educate audiences about the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid-19.
“The ability to get people back to work and kids back in school, getting us reunited with family and friends and attending concerts, sporting events and many other activities we hold dear is contingent upon people getting vaccinated,” said Matthew Segal, the co-founder of ATTN, which created the special in partnership with Walgreens and Civic Nation.
The special itself was announced earlier in March and will feature public figures, comedians, artists, and performers, as well as frontline and medical professionals.