COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– A Columbus couple who was profiled by NBC4 in May about their decision to require all of their wedding guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was invited to take part in a CNN town hall with President Joe Biden in Cincinnati Wednesday.
Christian and Stephanie Oliver asked the president what his administration is doing to convince those in the African American community that the vaccine is safe, as data shows they are one of the least vaccinated groups in the country.
However, they weren’t fully satisfied with the answer they received.
“I was satisfied to the point where he was making the vaccine more widely available in [predominantly African American] neighborhoods. I was satisfied with that part, but not satisfied with… he didn’t really answer the question as to how are we convincing those [people.] Because you can make it more widely available, but the same people who don’t want to get the vaccine, they still don’t want to get the vaccine,” Christian stated.
Stephanie continued: “Yeah, what was he doing to invoke more trust. We were looking for trust in there.”
“The message that we really want to get across and figure out more about was why aren’t there more people who look like us in the medical community,” Stephanie said. “Knowing that people are more likely to trust their social network that is immediately surrounding them. It’s one thing to turn on the TV and hear a retired sports player who maybe looks like you saying ‘I got vaccinated,’ but it’s another when you’re able to say ‘hey, I know [misinformation] that’s not true about the vaccine and the vaccine is indeed safe… because my aunt helped develop that, my daughter helped develop that.'”
Prior to Christian asking the question, he told the president he and Stephanie married just a few days ago, to which Biden said: “I’d brag if I were you, too. As they say when they look at me and my wife, ‘you married up, kid.'”
“Some people go on a honeymoon right after their wedding, we decide to go on CNN,” Stephanie said.
“The experience was awesome,” Christian said.
“It was both a blessing and a privilege,” Stephanie added. “Just knowing, too, that they required everyone there to be vaccinated, the same thing we did with our wedding. It was really nice that we could be protected in that, and that there were efforts made to make sure that everybody was safe.”
You can watch the full interview with the Olivers in the video below.