Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other conservatives have criticized Sesame Street favorite Big Bird for claiming to have received a COVID vaccine in what they believe is propaganda to encourage children to get the shot.
The fictional bird, who according to Sesame Street lore is 6 years old forever, tweeted his vaccination status on Saturday, writing: “I got the COVID-19 vaccine today! My wing hurts a bit, but it will give my body an extra protective boost that will keep me and others healthy.”
He added that CNN journalist Erica Hill “even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!’
But Cruz was one of those happy about Big Bird’s medical disclosure, and quote tweeted the comment saying “Government propaganda for your 5-year-old.” Big Bird published the tweet days after the FDA approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children ages five to 11, with critics accusing the character of trying to shoot children.
In his tweet, Big Bird said the vaccine will ‘give my body an extra protective boost that will keep me and others healthy’
Cruz called the tweet ‘government propaganda for your 5-year-old’
Big Bird, who is eternally six years old, according to Sesame Street lore, tweeted on Saturday that he had received the COVID vaccine
sen. Ted Cruz, from Texas, was one of many conservatives who took to Twitter to criticize the Bird for getting the vaccine
The tweets also sparked criticism from other conservatives, such as FOX News host Lisa Boothe, who said it is “brainwashing children who are not at risk for COVID,” and Newsmax host Steve Cortes, who wrote: “This kind of propaganda is actually bad. .
“Statistically, your children are not at risk and should not be pressured into a brand new treatment. To disobey!’
But Cruz himself soon faced criticism, including from gun control activist David Hogg, who tweeted, “Ted Cruz is doing the job of our enemies by spreading more disinformation that has killed more than 200,000 Americans this year.
“I can’t believe a real sitting senator would tweet this,” he added.
Hogg also responded directly to Cruz’s tweet, recalling the senator’s controversial trip to Cancun, Mexico when Texas weathered a deadly winter storm.
“In any case, it’s acceptable for birds to fly south in the winter — unlike some senators who left millions of their constituents to die in the cold.”
Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, also wrote, “Imagine coming down harder on a fictional bird than the man who called your wife ugly,” referring to former President Donald Trump, whom Cruz campaigned for after losing the election. Republican nomination in 2020.
And Walter Shaub, a former head of the Office of Government Ethics, reminded Cruz, “You’ve been vaccinated.”
Others pointed out that Sesame Street now airs on HBO, not the public broadcaster PBS as it used to be, while some noted that Big Bird has been active in child immunization campaigns dating back to the 1970s.
Sarah Wire, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, added that Sesame Street has helped children understand the COVID pandemic.
“Sesame Street has spoken to children about the pandemic in ways they understand from the start, by explaining how to wash hands and wear a mask or why they couldn’t go to kindergarten or see grandma,” she wrote. .
“Kids seeing six-year-old Big Bird get an injection helps them understand what’s going on.”
In response to the criticism, Cruz tweeted again: “Liberals are weird.
“They don’t care about open borders. Or rising inflation. Or schools that cover up sexual violence. Or the disaster in Afghanistan. Or tyrannical dems who violate medical privacy and freedom.
‘But criticize Big Bird? And they lose their shit.’
Cruz quickly got a response for his tweet attacking Big Bird
Cruz wrote in response to criticism that ‘liberals are weird’
The controversy over Big Bird’s vaccination status comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee officially recommended Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages five to 11.
Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of distributing pediatric doses in this younger age group.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky then signed the ballot, meaning about 28 million children in the US are now eligible for the shots.
It was the final step in the process that would allow injections in young children to begin in the United States, with President Joe Biden making a statement calling the decision “a turning point” in the fight against COVID-19 and saying they had secured enough vaccines. for every child in America.
With the decision, the United States became one of the first countries to approve vaccinations for children.
China has reportedly started rolling out its own vaccines for three-year-olds, and Chile is vaccinating children six and older. Meanwhile, Israel is expected to follow the US lead now that the CDC has approved the jabs.
However, these countries are currently the exception, with countries still weighing the risks and benefits of the decision. Most only vaccinate children 12 years and older.
In Britain, scientists have warned against officials who ‘blindly’ recommend the shots to young children without weighing the risks ‘extremely carefully’.
There are also still fears of myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation that is discovered in about one in 10,000 cases in children, mostly boys, after vaccination.
Critics say children are better off getting COVID and getting protection naturally, as the risk of being admitted to the ICU is about one in 500,000.
The CDC last week approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in children ages five to 11, although some parents are hesitant to give their children vaccines
Meanwhile, the decision has sparked a storm of controversy in America with opponents pointing out that there is little evidence that vaccinating children is necessary.
Evidence shows that COVID poses a low risk for the age group, with children accounting for less than 0.1 percent of COVID deaths in America.
There are more than 1.9 million cases of Covid-19 among five to 11-year-olds in the United States, and more than 8,300 hospitalizations, more than 2,300 cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), and approximately 100 deaths.
With those statistics, some parents have said they are hesitant to get their children vaccinated.
New research data published Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 27 percent of parents with children ages five to 11 say their children will be vaccinated as soon as they are available.
Another 33 percent say they will “wait and see” how the vaccine works before deciding whether or not to vaccinate their children.
And five percent of parents in the survey said they will only vaccinate their children if their school requires it, and 30 percent say they will not vaccinate their children at all.
As of Saturday, 67.2 percent of eligible Americans have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 58.3 percent are fully vaccinated.
It did not yet have data on how many children between the ages of five and 11 have been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 71,517 new COVID cases were reported on Friday, with 1,604 new deaths.