Americans should expect to see more of actor Dennis Quaid during television commercial breaks, according to a new report by Politico.
“The health department is moving quickly on a highly unusual advertising campaign to ‘defeat despair’ about the coronavirus, a $300 million-plus effort that was shaped by a political appointee close to President Donald Trump and executed in part by close allies of the official, using taxpayer funds,” Politico’s Dan Diamond reported Friday.
“The ad blitz, described in some budget documents as the “Covid-19 immediate surge public advertising and awareness campaign,” is expected to lean heavily on video interviews between administration officials and celebrities, who will discuss aspects of the coronavirus outbreak and address the Trump administration’s response to the crisis,” Politico explained, citing “six individuals with knowledge of the campaign.”
“Senior administration officials have already recorded interviews with celebrities like actor Dennis Quaid and singer CeCe Winans, and the Health and Human Services Department also has pursued television host Dr. Mehmet Oz and musician Garth Brooks for roles in the campaign,” Politico noted. “The public awareness campaign, which HHS is seeking to start airing before Election Day on Nov. 3, was largely conceived and organized by Michael Caputo, the health department’s top spokesperson who took medical leave last week and announced on Thursday that he had been diagnosed with cancer.”
Caputo said on Facebook before going on leave that the ad blitz was “demanded of me by the president of the United States. Personally.”
EXCLUSIVE: Trump’s $300M-plus ad blitz to “defeat despair” on coronavirus involves celebrities like Dennis Quaid — and contractors who are business associates of a top political appointee. https://t.co/bjTC84tyzi
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) September 25, 2020