Compare this to the government of Vietnam, where the Ministry of Health reached out to a popular singer to create a spinoff of one of her songs as a catchy animated PSA about fighting coronavirus. This video, which was released on the singer’s YouTube channel, went viral and has sparked a TikTok global dance challenge with millions of views and countless adaptations. Other countries such as Thailand and the Philippines also have used TikTok to communicate the very basics of good coronavirus hygiene. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sat down for a video chat with the country’s deputy chief medical officer to interview her, an expert, about what the virus is and how to prevent its spread — and shared it with his 1.5 million Twitter followers.
It is time for the United States to follow this lead and corral our most influential citizens to join in the effort. We need political leaders to reach across the aisle and together deliver the same clear message about the virus. That starts with not calling it the “Wuhan virus,” and it also means not going on television and shaking hands with a tightly gathered group of advisers and media as Trump did on Friday.
Podcast stars and preachers need to take to their respective pulpits. LeBron James needs to tell his 45 million Twitter followers what is at stake and Kim Kardashian’s 162 million Instagram followers should hear from her.