Ted Cruz strikes after Sesame Street icon Big Bird tweeted his joy in getting a COVID shot
Texas Senator Ted Cruz and other conservatives have lambasted Sesame Street frontrunner Big Bird for claiming to have received a COVID vaccine in what they say is propaganda to encourage children to get vaccinated.
The fictional bird, which according to Sesame Street lore is eternally 6 years old, tweeted about its 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 reporter Erica Hill “even said I’ve been getting vaccinated since I was a little bird.” I had no idea!’
But Cruz was among those happy with Big Bird’s medical disclosure and quoted the comment on Twitter with “Government Propaganda for Your 5 Year Old.” Big Bird published the tweet days after the FDA approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children aged five to 11, with critics accusing the character of trying to force shots on 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, according to Sesame Street lore, tweeted on Saturday that he had received the COVID vaccine
Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, was one of many conservatives who took to Twitter to criticize the bird for getting the vaccine
COVID is widely believed to pose little risk to children, with CDC statistics showing that only 680 of the 745,000 deaths from COVID in the United States are between the ages of 0 and 18.
Vaccines, while generally very safe, can also cause side effects, including inflammation of the heart in children, with some experts questioning whether the protection they provide outweighs the risk of side effects or likely nature. harmless from COVID infection to young children.
The tweets also drew criticism from other conservatives, such as FOX News host Lisa Boothe, who said it was “brainwashing children who were not at risk of COVID.” and Newsmax host Steve Cortes, who wrote: âThis kind of propaganda is actually evil.
âYour children are not statistically at risk and should not be forced into a whole new treatment. Don’t comply! ‘
Cruz’s comment has itself been the subject of criticism, most notably from Parkland school massacre survivor turned gun control advocate David Hogg.
Hogg wrote: âTed Cruz is doing the job of our enemies by spreading more disinformation that has killed over 200,000 Americans this year.
“I can’t believe a sitting senator would have tweeted this,” he added.
Hogg also responded directly to Cruz’s tweet, recalling the senator’s controversial trip to Cancun, Mexico, as Texas suffered a deadly winter storm.
“At least it’s okay for the birds to fly south for the winter – unlike some senators who have left millions of their constituents to die in the cold.”
Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, also wrote: “Imagine falling harder on a fictional bird than the man who called your wife ugly”, referring to former President Donald Trump, for whom Cruz has campaigning after losing the Republican nomination in 2020.
And Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics, reminded Cruz: âYou are vaccinated.
Many parents who have themselves been vaccinated say that their desire not to vaccinate young children is not an anti-vaccination stance, but rather the result of an evaluation of the benefits and potential pitfalls of the injection.
Others pointed out that Sesame Street now airs on HBO, not the public access channel PBS as before, while some noted that Big Bird had been active in childhood 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 spoke to children about the pandemic in a way they understood from the start, explaining how to wash their hands and wear a mask or why they couldn’t go to preschool or see Grandma.” , she wrote.
âThe kids who see Six-year-old Big Bird getting the shot help them understand what’s going on. “
Responding to criticism, Cruz tweeted again, âLiberals are weird.
âThey don’t care about open borders. Or rising inflation. Or schools covering sexual assault. Or the disaster in Afghanistan. Or tyrannical Democrats violating medical rigor and freedom.
“But criticize Big Bird? And they lose their shit.
Cruz soon received a backlash for his tweet attacking Big Bird
In response to criticism, Cruz wrote that “liberals are weird”
The Big Bird vaccine status controversy comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee officially recommended Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11.
Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously on Tuesday to have pediatric doses distributed to this younger age group.
CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky then approved the vote, which means approximately 28 million children in the United States are now eligible for the shootings.
This was the last step in the process that would allow injections to young children to begin in the United States, with President Joe Biden issuing a statement calling the decision a “turning point” in the battle against COVID-19 and saying that they had secured enough. vaccines for every child in America.
With this decision, the United States became one of the first countries to approve childhood immunizations.
China has reportedly started rolling out its own vaccines for children aged three and Chile is reportedly vaccinating children six and older. Israel, meanwhile, should follow the United States’ lead now that the CDC has approved the hits.
However, these countries are currently the exception, with countries still weighing the risks and rewards of the decision. Most only immunize children 12 years of age and older.
In Britain, scientists have warned authorities “blindly” recommending jabs to young children without weighing the risks “with extreme caution”.
There are also still concerns about myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation detected in children, mainly boys, in about one in 10,000 cases after vaccination.
Critics say children are better off at catching COVID and getting protection naturally, as the risk of being admitted to intensive care is about one in 500,000.
The CDC last week approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in children aged five to 11, although some parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children.
Meanwhile, in America, the decision has sparked a storm of controversy with opponents pointing out that there is little evidence to suggest that childhood immunizations are necessary.
Data shows COVID poses a low risk for the age group, with children accounting for less than 0.1% of COVID deaths in America.
There have been over 1.9 million cases of Covid-19 in 5 to 11 year olds in the United States, and over 8,300 hospitalizations, over 2,300 cases of Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) and about 100 of the dead.
With these statistics, some parents said they were reluctant to get their children vaccinated.
New survey data released Thursday from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 27% of parents of children aged five to 11 say their children will get the vaccine as soon as it is 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 surveyed said they will only get their children immunized if required by their schools, and 30 percent say they won’t immunize their children at all.
As of Saturday, 67.2% of eligible Americans had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 58.3% were fully immunized.
It did not yet have data on the number of children between the ages of five and 11 who had been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 71,517 new cases of COVID were reported on Friday, with 1,604 new deaths.