Gustavo Santaolalla Teams Up with CORE for COVID-19 Vaccine PSA

Gustavo Santaolalla is encouraging people in Los Angeles to get the COVID-19 vaccine…

The 69-year-old Argentine Oscar-winning musician, composer, and record producer has teamed up with Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) to create a multilingual PSA in hopes of motivating L.A.’s hardest to reach communities to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gustavo Santaolalla

Titled “It’s Time Los Angeles,” the 30-second video, which includes original music by Santaolalla, was recorded in English, SpanishKoreanMandarin and Vietnamese.

Selena Gomez Launches Mental Health 101 Campaign with Her Rare Beauty Brand

Selena Gomez is hoping to raise awareness of mental health issues…

The 28-year-old Mexican American actress/singer has launched a new Mental Health 101 educational campaign with her beauty brand Rare Beauty.

Selena Gomez

In a note to her 222 million Instagram followers, the singer wrote about how Mental Health 101 “is so close to my heart because of my own struggles with mental health.”

She opened up about her bipolar diagnosis for the first time with Miley Cyrus on her Bright Minded Instagram Live series a year ago, in April 2020.

In September 2019, Gomez won the 2019 McClean Award for her mental health advocacy and detailed her struggles with anxiety and depression during her acceptance speech.

“I know first hand how scary and lonely it can feel to face anxiety and depression by yourself at a young age. If I had learned about my mental health earlier on — been taught about my condition in school the way I was taught about other subjects — my journey could have looked very different,” she continues writing.

Mental Health 101 is the education Gomez wished she’d had in school but is now dedicated to providing for others. The initiative, which coincides with May being Mental Health Awareness Month, is “dedicated to supporting mental health education and encouraging financial support for more mental health services in educational services,” according to her follow-up Instagram post. The set of slides — which starts off by listing mental health as its own school subject next to math, science, history and P.E. — contain shocking statistics about mental health, a petition calling on the philanthropy community to support mental health services in schools, and a fundraiser for the Rare Impact Fund that she launched on her 28th birthday last July.

The original plan for the Rare Impact Fund is to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to provide mental health services to underserved communities, with 1% of annual sales on Rare Beauty products in addition to funds raised benefiting the fund. Once Gomez reaches this goal, the Rare Impact Fund will become one of the largest known funds supporting mental health from a corporate entity. Now she’s zeroed in on distributing the money to organizations that have “created evidence-based programs that address social and emotional learning in schools, strengthen youth support networks through mental health trainings, and provide more suicide prevention and crisis response in educational settings ranging from K-college,” according to the GoFundMe page. On her second IG post, Gomez wrote that Rare Beauty will be matching $200,000 of donations.

Last summer, Rare Beauty also created the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council, which brings mental health experts from universities, organizations and companies together to guide the company’s strategy. Members of the Rare Beauty Mental Health Council include Permission to Feel author Dr. Marc Brackett of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence; Dr. Scott L. Rauch of McLean Hospital; Dr. Jane Delgado of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; Sad Girls Club CEO/founder Elyse Fox; NAMI National Director of Strategic Partnerships Katrina Gay; singer-songwriter Justin TranterThe Cut Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Peoples WagnerThe Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin; Sephora Vice President of Merchandising, Makeup Jennifer Cohen; and YouTube‘s Global Social Impact Marketing Director Kit Hayes.

“For anyone who is hurting right now, I hope you know that you are not alone. I’m a believer in seeking help. Getting support and educating myself on mental health has changed my life, and it can change yours, too,” her note concludes. “I hope that Mental Health 101 will be the stepping stones for others that I wish I had… to get connected to the resources they need, and to empower young people in ways that may not have been possible before.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda Urges New Yorkers to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lin-Manuel Miranda is encouraging people in New York City to get the COVID-19 vaccine…

The 41-year-old New York-born Puerto Rican actor, singer, composer and Broadway star joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this week at the grand opening of a Times Square COVID-19 vaccination site intended to jump-start the city’s entertainment industry.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

“We want to gather again, and we want to tell stories in the dark,” said Miranda, the author and star of Hamilton, the Tony Award-winning musical about Alexander Hamilton. “We cannot do that if we don’t feel safe and if you don’t feel safe. So the first step in that process is getting our vaccination shots, and the next steps will follow.”

Broadway theaters have been shuttered since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March of last year. De Blasio has said he hopes dedicated vaccination sites will help the industry reopen by September.

The new Times Square vaccine site will be open to workers in theater, film and TV, said the mayor, who stressed the importance of the entertainment industry to the life of the city.

“Yes, it’s part of our economy. Much more importantly it’s part of our identity,” de Blasio said. “It’s part of who we are, it’s part of our hearts. What it means in this city, the theater, the music, the dance, the film and TV, it is our expression of everything that is New York City. It’s our creativity, it’s our heart and soul. We do something here that does not exist anywhere in the world quite like this.”

The new vaccination site, housed in a former NFL Experience store, will be managed by Susan Sampliner, the longtime company manager for the musical Wicked. Miranda said that “if anyone knows how to make a show run on time it’s Broadway stage managers. So you’ll be in good hands.”

Selena Gomez to Host Global Citizen’s All-Star “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”

Selena Gomez is hoping to inspire people to get vaccinated…

The 28-year-old Mexican American singer/actress will host Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, an all-star concert that will be broadcast and streamed worldwide as part of a global effort to inspire confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and encourage people to be inoculated.

Selena Gomez

Sponsored by Global Citizen, the concert will be held at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will be pre-taped at the stadium and air on May 8 as part of a worldwide event broadcasting on ABCCBSFoxYouTube and on iHeartMedia radio stations.

The event will include performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie VedderFoo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R.

“I’m honored to be hosting Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” said Gomez in a statement. “This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

YouTube will stream an extended, 90-minute version of the concert on the YouTube channel of Global Citizen, international anti-poverty advocacy group. The extended version will include additional performances and appearances by various YouTube personalities.

“As a global community, we are in a race against time and the key to coming back together is the vaccine,” Global Citizen co-founder/CEO Hugh Evans said in a statement. “We need to build vaccine confidence in the U.S. and globally, and encourage people to take the vaccine as quickly as possible.

“There is a light at the end of this tunnel,” Evans added, “but getting vaccines to everyone, everywhere regardless of who they are or where they are from, is key to ensuring the end of this pandemic around the world. We must all unite to get back on track to eradicating extreme poverty.”

The broadcast will encourage donations, with the goal of ensuring vaccinations for 27 million health-care workers globally, including in the poorest countries of the world. Organizers will also advocate for “equitable distribution” of vaccines.

“Global Citizen is giving voice to a core message to Angelenos, Americans, and citizens of the world: every time someone gets vaccinated, we move another step closer to ending this pandemic,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Vax Live will open our eyes to the future we can forge if we all do our part, follow health guidelines and get our shots as soon as we’re eligible — a return to concerts with our fellow fans, gatherings with loved ones, and the embrace of family and friends.”

Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World is hosted by the State of California, and supported by the LA County Health Department, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Inglewood, and E. Stanley Kroenke, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Developer, and Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman.

“The State of California is thankful to Global Citizen for demonstrating what’s possible when we embrace getting vaccinated and encourage others to get immunized as well,” said Gavin Newsom, Governor of California in a statement. “Music and the arts have long brought us together to celebrate moments of hope and happiness. This concert is no exception to that. We are excited to showcase the best of California reopening in compliance with the best standards of health and safety.”

Mario Lopez Appears in NBCUniversal’s “Plan Your Vaccine” PSAs

Mario Lopez is urging you to plan your vaccine…

The 47-year-old Mexican American actor and television host, who is currently starring on Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot, appears in NBCUniversal’s “Plan Your Vaccine” PSA.

Mario Lopez

The video features Lopez, Mike Tirico, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Amber Ruffin, Padma Lakshmi, Drew McIntyre, José Díaz-Balart, Dr. Jackie Walters, and BD Wong.

NBCU launched its “Plan Your Vaccine” initiative last month, building on 2020’s “Plan Your Vote” campaign. The aim: to promote the company’s all-in-one online tool for users to help make a vaccine appointment, learn about eligibility and more. It also can send eligibility/vaccine location alerts and updates to viewers’ phone or email based on their state.

The company plans to release more “Plan Your Vaccine” PSAs during the week, including a Spanish one Lopez, Díaz-Balart, Jessica Carrillo, Ángel Garza, Jorge Bernal, Adamari López, Carlos Adyan, Stephanie Himonidis, Antonio Texeira, Ana Jurka, Vanessa Claudio and Aylín Mújica.

Rosie Perez Appears in WarnerMedia’s COVID-19 Vaccine PSAs

Rosie Perez is helping to raise awareness about the COVD-19 vaccine…

WarnerMedia is debuting a number of coronavirus vaccine PSAs featuring stars from their series, including the 56-year-old Puerto Rican actress, choreographer and community activist.

Rosie Perez

The public service announcements were created in partnership with the Ad Council, in support of their ongoing COVID-19 Vaccine Education campaigns.

The “It’s Up To You” campaign will air across all WarnerMedia and AT&T-owned cable, digital, streaming and social platforms starting next week.

Meanwhile, the Ad Council will be sharing the PSAs across their own network of distribution platforms.

The PSAs were written and directed by the internal creative team at Warner Media’s 10th Street Studios, which previously created the “Mask Up America” campaign.

In support of COVID-19 safety precautions, each of the campaign’s videos, which include Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Daveed Diggs, was produced remotely.

“WarnerMedia is proud to work with the Ad Council to continue to grow awareness and drive vaccine adoption,” said Dennis Williams, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, WarnerMedia. “Having Sanjay, Rosie, and Daveed help us create and build a conversation around getting vaccinated will not only inspire action, but also save lives.”

“We continue to be so grateful to the WarnerMedia team for their commitment to educating Americans on protecting themselves and their families from COVID-19,” added Heidi Arthur, Chief Campaign Development Officer, Ad Council. “We know that many Americans have questions about the vaccine, and are so thankful to Sanjay, Rosie, and Daveed for helping educate and inspire Americans to get the answers to their questions so they can make an informed choice about vaccination for themselves and for their families.”

Demi Lovato Helps Launch “Pro-Vaxxer” Campaign to Fight Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccine

Demi Lovato is making a phenomenal effort to the spread of coronavirus vaccine misinformation…

The 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress has joined forces with Phenomenal and Higher Heights for America to help launch the “Pro-Vaxxer” campaign to help fight misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Demi Lovato

Lovato proudly showed off her new “Pro-Vaxxer” crewneck sweatshirt on her social media accounts on Wednesday (March 10), and 100% of its net proceeds support the cause in partnership with Higher Heights, a nonprofit organization that seeks to elevate Black women’s voices to shape and advance progressive policies and politics. Phenomenal is a female-powered lifestyle brand and media company founded by Meena Harris that uses fashion to make a statement on social issues and celebrate people’s identities.

“I’m proud to join @phenomenal and @higherheights4 in launching their PRO-VAXXER campaign to help fight misinformation around the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine,” the pop star wrote. “All net proceeds from this sweatshirt will support grassroots mobilization and education efforts in partnership with Higher Heights to disseminate trusted information and ensure accessibility and equitability in vaccine distribution, particularly in communities of color.”

Harris also shared the news on Twitter with a link to Lovato’s sweatshirt. The Pro-Vaxxer collection also includes a Dr. Fauci coffee mug.

“Demi is a fierce advocate for many causes, and importantly, she embraces an intersectional approach because she understands that a lot of the issues she cares about are deeply and systemically connected. She is a passionate advocate for mental health, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate justice, justice for immigrants, and she consistently uses her voice in a meaningful way,” Harris told The Hollywood Reporter. “Seeing the spread of misinformation about the vaccine online, Demi wanted to use her platform to share truthful, easily accessible information about vaccine safety and also raise funds to help Black and brown communities, which have been hardest hit by COVID-19. When Demi and I learned that we had a shared interest in building a campaign on this topic, it felt like a natural fit to partner together.”

Demi Lovato Leads World in New Year’s Meditation

Demi Lovato is leading the world in a special New Year’s meditation…

The 28-year-old part-Mexican American singer/actress kicked off the new year by figuring out a way to “be present with ourselves, together.”

Demi Lovato,

As part of YouTube’s Hello 2021: Americas series, Lovato filmed a meditation session and spread the word about how to practice mindfulness after a tough 2020.

Lovato led a meditation “to start turning the page from this totally unprecedented chapter and to help us all move forward into 2021 with a clear heart.”

“I feel like I’ve been shallow breathing for this entire year, but it’s time to finally take that deep breath,” she said. “And I want you to feel it all the way in your toes. We are in a moment of transformation. A shift of the weight of this year is in motion.”

Lovato welcomed 2021 as “a year of great new beginnings” and “a beautiful opportunity for anything, including picking ourselves back up again.”

“I’m choosing to find the good — the good in my flaws, the good in my failures, the good in myself, in my breath, in all of it, and all of you,” she said in the calming clip.

Selena Gomez Calls Out Facebook’s Failure to Stop Spread of Misinformation About COVID-19 Vaccines

Selena Gomez has some harsh words for Facebook related to the coronavirus vaccines

The 28-year-old Mexican American singer/actress has fired off a pointed tweet decrying what she said was the social media giant’s failure to stop the spread of misinformation about the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines that are being rolled out across the country and the world.

Selena Gomez

“Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives. @Facebook said they don’t allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms,” wrote Gomez, who in September shared a private message she sent to FB founder Mark Zuckerberg and CEO Sheryl Sandberg about what she said were FB and Instagram’s problem with spreading “hate, misinformation, racism, and bigotry.”

“So how come all of this is still happening?” Gomez’s latest call-out continued. “Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths if they don’t take action now!”

Her tweet included a link to a post from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, in which the group’s CEO, Imran Ahmed, spoke to the BBC News about what he said was the critical, widespread failure of major social media companies to remove coronavirus misinformation in the UK.

“We took a thousand bits of misinformation and got volunteers to report it using the platform’s own reporting systems,” Ahmed said. “And less than 5% of it was taken down. The truth is we’ve been gaslit by the social media companies, they say they’re doing their utmost. But in reality, they’re doing absolutely nothing.” In early December, before the U.S. began distributing the two approved vaccines, the New York Times reported that FB pledged to remove posts containing claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.

At the time, FB said it planned to take down COVID-19 vaccine falsehoods completely if the claims were discredited or contradicted by health organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is another way that we are applying our policy to remove misinformation about the virus that could lead to imminent physical harm,” the company said in a blog post. “This could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccines.”

In a statement to Billboard, a spokesperson for FB said, “We are committed to reaching as many people as possible with accurate information about vaccines, and launched partnerships with WHO and Unicef to do just that. We’ve banned ads that discourage people from getting vaccines and reduced the number of people who see vaccine hoaxes verified by the WHO and the CDC. We also label Pages and Groups that repeatedly share vaccine hoaxes, lower their posts in News Feed, and do not recommend them to anyone. We continue to remove accounts and content that violate our policies and are the only company to work with over 80 fact-checking organizations around the world. ”

Dr. Robert Rodriguez Named to President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board

Dr. Robert Rodriguez is ready to fight the coronavirus pandemic in a big way…

The Latino doctor, a native of Brownsville, Texas, is among the health officials named to President-elect Joe Biden‘s COVID-19 advisory board.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received their first briefing from the board on Monday morning in Wilmington, Delaware.The team will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administrator commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of medicine at Yale University.

Thirteen co-chairs and members will comprise the board, including Rodriguez.

He graduated from Harvard Medical School, returned home to the Rio Grande Valley as the number of people dying from coronavirus soared over the summer. He volunteered to help with the critical surge in the ICU.

He told ABC News in July that he saw at least one person die daily from the virus.

“Everybody is wearing masks here. The spread is not because people aren’t being responsible. I think it’s largely due to socioeconomic issues,” Rodriguez said at the time. “The best way you can take care of frontline providers and everybody else here in the hospital is by taking care of yourself.”

Currently, Rodriguez serves as a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, where he works on the frontline in the emergency department and ICU of two major trauma centers.

According to a release from Biden’s transition team, Rodriguez has authored over 100 scientific publications and has led national research teams examining a range of topics in medicine, including the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of frontline workers.

It’s not clear whether or not President Donald Trump‘s administration will work with Biden’s task force. However, Biden says he plans to reach out to governors about a state mask mandate as soon as possible.