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Ted Cruz vs. Big Bird: GOP senator responds to ‘Sesame Street’ character’s vaccine message

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 12:26 PM CST
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(Gray News) - Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is at the center of a Twitter feud with an unusual target: Big Bird from “Sesame Street.”

The fictional feathered friend from the long-running children’s show joined several of his co-stars in a CNN town hall Saturday, “The ABCs of COVID Vaccines.”

The same day, Big Bird announced on his official Twitter that he got the COVID-19 vaccine. The message campaign follows the approval last week of the shots for children ages 5-11.

“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. “Ms. (CNN’s Erica Hill) even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!”

Cruz responded a short time later by tweeting, “Government propaganda…for your 5 year old!”

Several other conservatives also took issue, including Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who tweeted Big Bird was “a communist.”

“Sesame Street” airs on public broadcaster PBS, but it is not government-owned. It is made by Sesame Workshop, an independent nonprofit production company.

The “Sesame Street” Twitter account followed up with a 1972 clip of Big Bird lining up with kids for a measles vaccine. CNN also reported several other characters and celebrities have advocated for vaccines over the years, including Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali and C-3PO and R2-D2 of “Star Wars.”

President Joe Biden supported Big Bird’s message on the @POTUS Twitter account.

“Good on ya, @BigBird,” he tweeted. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe.”

Cruz has engaged in a few back-and-forth discussions with famous figures on social media. They include a spat in February with Cary Elwes, star of Cruz’s self-professed favorite movie, “The Princess Bride,” and “Sons of Anarchy” actor Ron Perlman in June 2020, when Cruz challenged Perlman to a wrestling match against Congressman Jim Jordan.

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