Health officials rated celebrities on Trump loyalty while planning ad campaign

Enlarge / Jack Black, “classic Hollywood liberal,” on January 22, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (credit: Getty | John Parra)

Democratic House lawmakers have had no luck getting the Department of Health and Human Services to hand over information on its $250 million advertising campaign to “defeat despair and inspire hope” amid the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

But, the lawmakers have been able to collect documents from the federal contractors working on the campaign—and the details in those documents are “extremely troubling,” they say.

In a scathing letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the lawmakers revealed some of those details, which show blatant political partisanship. For instance, A-list celebrities considered for pandemic-related public service announcements were individually rated based on their loyalty to Trump and other political leanings. Of the 274 celebrities reviewed, only 10 made the cut. The rest were rejected, including Jack Black, who was dubbed a “classic Hollywood liberal” and Judd Apatow, who, the documents say, “believes Trump does not have the intellectual capacity to run as President.”

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