Tags: Coronavirus | Trump Administration | hhs | ad campaign | celebrities

COVID-19 Celeb Ad Campaign Scrapped by HHS

caputo in a black suit and glasses
Michael Caputo (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 November 2020 10:51 AM

A planned ad campaign featuring celebrities discussing COVID-19 has been canceled by the Health and Human Services Department.

Politico reported that word of the cancellation came in a letter from HHS to a congressional oversight panel. The decision scraps a $15 million contract with Atlas Research. The website noted the contract was part of a larger $300 million campaign funded by taxpayers aimed at “defeating despair” over the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Caputo, who was installed as the department’s spokesperson in April, had pressed to have the ads broadcast before Election Day. But following Democrats' claims that it was an effort to boost public opinion of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 response in advance of the election, HHS conducted an internal review.

"The review has been completed," Sarah Arbes, HHS assistant secretary for legislation, wrote to Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., who chairs the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. "The work with members of the entertainment industry conducted by Atlas Research will not continue and that contract will be canceled.”

Actor Dennis Quaid and gospel singer CeCe Winans had already pulled out of appearing in the ads, Politico noted. No ads ever ran.

“Based on the feedback provided, (the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs) plans to move forward with the science-based approach for public education,” the HHS letter said.

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A planned ad campaign featuring celebrities discussing COVID-19 has been canceled by the Health and Human Services Department. Politico reported that word of the cancellation came in a letter from HHS to a congressional oversight panel. The decision scraps a $15 million...
hhs, ad campaign, celebrities
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2020-51-18
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 10:51 AM
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