In September, Politico reported the Trump campaign was redirecting $300 million in taxpayer funds from the CDC to make some ads with celebrities to help "defeat despair" over coronavirus. In the words of health department spokesperson Michael Caputo, "We need content in the can now."
Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but now Politico has a long list of celebrities from when they were trying to put together this campaign and it includes notes about why they would or wouldn't make good spokespeople.
From the list of 274 people, 12 names are associated with sports. Of those 12, only six are active athletes - if you count Shaun White.
There seems to be zero rhyme nor reason why they came up with this small list of athletes. Guys like Jack Nicklaus and Jay Cutler, who have both endorsed Trump this week, aren't on there. Tom Brady, one of Trump's buddies, isn't on there either. It appears they might have added the athletes based on names mentioned in a UFC-heavy 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated found in a dentist's office.
Serena Williams and Rob Gronkowski received no notes.
Shaun White: "Arrested in 2012 for public intoxication and vandalism. Sued for sexual harassment and breach of conduct in 2017 - settled."
David Beckham: "UK resident. No specific political or criminal history notes."
James Harden: "Christian speaks publicly about faith." Harden was listed as "faith-based," just like the Fat Jew, so you know they've done their homework.
Caitlyn Jenner: "LGBT. Initially supported President Trump but has withdrawn support."
Tito Ortiz, who has been a big coronavirus conspiracy guy: "Has struggled with drug addiction. Arrested in 2010 for felony domestic violence. Arrested for DUI in 2014."
Conor McGregor: "Lives in Ireland. Public supporter of President Trump. Arrested for sexual assault/exposure allegation in Sept 2020."
Mariano Rivera: "Child support lawsuits. President Trump supporter, has participated in fundraiser events. Naturalized citizen, from Panama."
Mike Ditka: "Arrested for DUI in 1985. Practicing Roman Catholic. Public comments negative to President Obama."
Ronda Rousey: "Publicly supported Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders for 2016 election. Anti-feminist view at times. Arrested during WWE event in 2019." That appears to have been part of a show, so it's a shame all the actors on the list didn't have all their characters' rap sheets listed.
Joe Rogan was listed as "overcommitted," which is probably why he never got to host a Presidential debate. They are going to check back this month. "Critical of Catholic Church. Has spoken critically of Vice President Joe Biden during current presidential campaign. Publicly supports pro-drug legalization views. Arrested in Las Vegas for a fight in 2005, charges dropped."
What a wild list. I mean, two of those people aren't even American! It really is a shame that this ad campaign got scrapped. It would have been $300 million well spent.