A Dialogue on Public Health Celebrities during COVID-19

Main Article Content

Colleen Derkatch
Kristin Kondrlik
Hua Wang
Beck Wise


This dialogue offers a transnational perspective on the emergence of public health officials (PHOs) as celebrities during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on scholarship on public health rhetorics (e.g., Keränen, 2014; Malkowski & Melonçon, 2019) and on our experiences of living through the ongoing pandemic as well as observing its effects in Australia, Canada, China, and the United States, we focused our discussion on our local contexts; key public health celebrities who emerged in those contexts; changes in public reaction to those figures over time; and why the celebrification of public health figures is of interest to scholars in rhetoric of health and medicine. We close by reflecting on how our transnational discussion of public health celebrities has reshaped our understanding of celebrification in health and outline key areas of future collaboration and inquiry. 

Article Details

Author Biography

Beck Wise, University of Queensland

Lecturer in Professional Writing


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