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A screenshot of President Biden's Snapchat video. Photo: White House

The White House marked a return to Snapchat with President Biden and his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, appearing in public health video messages on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details: In the White House Snapchat story, which appears on the "Discover" page of curated content, a masked Biden urges users to wear face coverings because "you're going to save lives."

A screenshot of NIAID director Antony Fauci in the White House video. Photo: The White House
"You're going to save families' lives. It matters, it matters. It's the patriotic thing to do. Please wear a mask."
  • The Snapchat story also features behind-the-scenes footage of Biden's visit last week to the National Institutes of Health's Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory, which developed the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Moderna.

The big picture: The Obama administration launched a White House account for Snapchat in 2016. The account continued during the Trump administration.

  • Former President Trump also continued to use his personal account —which Snapchat stopped promoting on its "Discover" page last June over tweets on racial justice protests that Twitter said violated its rules on glorifying violence.
  • Snapchat locked and then permanently banned Trump's account following the Jan. 6 insurrection by some of his supporters on the U.S. Capitol.

What they're saying: White House digital director Rob Flaherty said in an emailed statement that Snapchatters can expect them to use the account as a direct conversation on Biden's agenda as his administration "works to beat the pandemic, build back our economy better, advance racial equity, and tackle climate change."

  • "The White House Snapchat has always been a critical platform to reach young Americans, and we’re excited to bring it back," Flaherty said.

Go deeper

Feb 16, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Timeline for widespread COVID-19 vaccine availability slightly delayed

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Most Americans will be able to get their coronavirus vaccines between the middle of May and early June, President Biden's chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci told CNN on Tuesday.

Why it matters: That timeframe is slightly delayed from Fauci's previous projection of late March to early April, and it comes after Johnson & Johnson failed to meet its promised supply timetable due to lags in production.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Feb 16, 2021 - Health

How the winter surge changed COVID disparities

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The giant surge of coronavirus cases over the fall and winter hit white Americans disproportionately hard, narrowing the racial disparities in COVID deaths.

Yes, but: When age is factored in, Americans of color still have a significantly higher death rate than white Americans, meaning people of color are dying at younger ages.

CEOs search for a bigger role in getting America vaccinated

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

CEOs — more trusted than government — want a larger role in what may be the biggest countrywide undertaking of our lifetimes: the mass rollout of coronavirus vaccines.

The big picture: A slew of big businesses are offering up the resources they have, including technical expertise and physical space. But there's no coordinated effort at the federal level to tap the full potential of the private sector’s muscle.