Ted Cruz Slams 'Government Propaganda' After Sesame Street's Big Bird Gets Vaccine

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz declared a tweet by Sesame Street's Big Bird about getting the COVID-19 vaccine was "government propaganda" for children.

"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," the tweet said, days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended kid-sized doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

Big Bird's tweet added that CNN journalist Erica Hill "even said I've been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!"

Cruz was quick to condemn the message, writing: "Government propaganda...for your 5 year old!"

Government propaganda…for your 5 year old! https://t.co/lKUlomnpq1

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 6, 2021

His tweet sparked a backlash, including from gun control activist David Hogg.

"Ted Cruz is doing the job of our enemies by spreading more disinformation that's killed over 200,000 Americans this year," Hogg tweeted. "I can not believe an actual sitting senator would tweet this."

In a reply to Cruz's tweet, Hogg also recalled the senator's travel to Cancun, Mexico, as Texas endured a deadly winter storm earlier this year.

"At least it's acceptable for birds to fly south for the winter- unlike some senators who left millions of their constituents to f**king die in the cold," Hogg wrote.

Ted Cruz is doing the job of our enemies by spreading more disinformation that’s killed over 200,000 Americans this year

I can not believe an actual sitting senator would tweet this. pic.twitter.com/HChjym603K

— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) November 7, 2021

Franklin Leonard tweeted that Cruz "thinks HBO Max is the government."

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, tweeted: "Imagine coming down harder on a fictional bird than the man who called your wife ugly."

And journalist Aaron Rupar noted that Cruz's response demonstrates the extent to which Republicans have "politicized basic public health."

"There is no better illustration of how Republicans have politicized basic public health than Ted Cruz getting mad because Big Bird tweeted about being vaccinated," Rupar wrote.

Liberals are weird.

They don’t care about open borders.

Or rising inflation.

Or schools covering up sexual assaults.

Or the disaster of Afghanistan.

Or tyrannical Dems violating medical privacy & freedom.

But criticize Big Bird? And they lose their sh**. 🤷🏻‍♂️ https://t.co/KdiRfQW4Du

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 7, 2021

Cruz hit back at the criticism in another tweet. "Liberals are weird," he wrote. "They don't care about open borders. Or rising inflation. Or schools covering up sexual assaults. Or the disaster of Afghanistan. Or tyrannical Dems violating medical privacy & freedom. But criticize Big Bird? And they lose their sh**."

Several conservatives joined Cruz's attacks on the fictional character's promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine, with Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe tweeting: "Brainwashing children who are not at risk from COVID. Twisted."

However, others mocked the criticism and noted the beloved character has been helping children understand vaccines for decades.

"Anti-vaxxers are mad at Big Bird today—when he's been doing this stuff for some five decades," Rex Chapman tweeted alongside a clip of Big Bird promoting vaccination on Sesame Street in 1972.

Anti-vaxxers are mad at Big Bird today — when he’s been doing this stuff for some five decades.

“Don’t wait - vaccinate.” https://t.co/UYby1ED9Mr

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 6, 2021

Sesame Street has spoken to kids about the pandemic in ways they understand since the beginning, explaining how to wash hands and wear a mask or why they couldn't go to preschool or see grandma. Kids seeing six year old Big Bird get a shot helps them understand what is happening https://t.co/lbKDfrouRO

— Sarah D. Wire (@sarahdwire) November 6, 2021

Sarah Wire, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, added that Sesame Street has also helped children understand the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Sesame Street has spoken to kids about the pandemic in ways they understand since the beginning, explaining how to wash hands and wear a mask or why they couldn't go to preschool or see grandma," Wire wrote. "Kids seeing six year old Big Bird get a shot helps them understand what is happening."

Cruz's office has been contacted for comment.

Ted Cruz speaks during Senate hearing
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questions U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill on October 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Pool-Getty Images