The White House COVID-19 response team said Friday that major online dating sites are pitching in to encourage more people in the United States to get vaccinated.
At the response team’s Friday briefing, Andy Slavitt, senior White House adviser, told reporters that major dating sites including Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid and others are offering incentives to members to get vaccinated, including badges to display on their profiles and access to premium features.
Slavitt said that the pandemic has had an impact on people’s personal lives, as social distancing is not conducive to dating. He said that while people are eager to get back into dating, they want to be able to do it safely. And, he said, the dating site OkCupid reports that its members who can show they are fully vaccinated are 14% more likely to get dates.
Slavitt said online dating sites have access to more than 50 million members, and the White House welcomes the incentives.
Meanwhile, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky reported that as of Thursday, the national daily average number of COVID-19 cases for the past week fell by almost 20% to the lowest daily average since June 13, 2020. Thursday was also the second day in a row the national daily average number of cases fell below 30,000.
The good news about declining COVID-19 numbers around the country creates, ironically, a problem for officials trying to get more people vaccinated. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says the numbers may make people think that the progress made means the pandemic is over and that they should not bother getting vaccinated.
Murthy said the only way for the good news to continue is for people to continue getting shots. Slavitt agreed, saying that surveys show that many people who are not yet vaccinated simply have not made it a priority.
He said the White House welcomes efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated, such the ones the dating sites are making or, as several states are doing, entering all those who get vaccinated into lotteries with prizes worth thousands of dollars and, in Ohio, five prizes of $1 million and full-ride college scholarships.
The CDC director reported that as of Friday, more than 60% of all Americans older than 18 have received at least one shot, and 126.6 million Americans are fully vaccinated.