Sesame Street has been advocating for children’s public health and safety measures for the better part of 52 years, however Big Bird, who just received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, has ruffled the feathers of Senator Ted Cruz, who referred to the puppet’s news as “government propaganda.”
“I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy,” Sesame Street, the company behind the big yellow character tweeted on Saturday. The beloved, larger-than-life puppet had appeared on CNN’s town hall episode titled “The ABCs of Covid Vaccines,” alongside public health experts, journalist Erica Hill, and his “grandmother,” Granny Bird. On the show, the matriarch revealed that Big Bird — who is widely believed to be six years old — would be receiving the vaccine.
I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it'll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy.
Ms. @EricaRHill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!
— Big Bird (@BigBird) November 6, 2021
Big Bird’s announcement followed federal health officials granting the Pfizer COVID vaccine emergency-use authorization for kids between the ages of five and 11. But since the pandemic has been politicized to death, it shouldn’t be surprising that Big Bird’s news incited rage.
“Government propaganda … for your 5 year old!” tweeted Cruz.
Government propaganda…for your 5 year old! https://t.co/lKUlomnpq1
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 6, 2021
However, Big Bird received support for his announcement, including from President Biden, who tweeted, “Good on ya, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe.”
Cruz then continued his crusade against Big Bird (please try saying that with a straight face), by responding to actor Seth MacFarlane who tweeted, “No surprise Big Bird is smarter than Ted Cruz. So is Kermit, Ernie, Bert, Grover, Oscar, Cookie Monster, The Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, The Swedish Chef, Scooter, Janice, Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, and Animal.”
The Senator responded by tweeting, “Well, every one of those is a puppet, most with a hand inserted up their backside. @SethMacFarlane is 1 of the funniest souls on the planet. Am sorry to see him shilling for petty authoritarians who would deny you the right to make your own medical choices. #YourBodyYourChoice.”
But the best response came from Sesame Street which, via Twitter, reminded fans that Big Bird has been pro-vaccine for decades, sharing a clip from 1972 in which he helped promote the measles shot. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, measles was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000. Here’s hoping real-life puppets will soon realize that vaccines are the safest and most effective way to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.
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