Joe Biden defended Sesame Streets Big Bird after the character was attacked by Republicans for saying he is vaccinated against COVID – Yahoo! Voices

  • President Joe Biden defended the Sesame Street character Big Bird after GOP attacks. 
  • “Good on ya,” said Biden after the Muppet tweeted that he had been vaccinated against COVID. 
  • Republicans had accused the giant yellow bird of seeking to indoctrinate children. 

President Joe Biden defended the Sesame Street character Big Bird after it was criticized by Republicans and right-wing commentators for advocating that people take a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The argument over the giant yellow bird — who has for decades been a children’s favorite — is the latest bizarre twist in the partisan battle over COVID vaccines, and comes after public health authorities approved the Pfizer-BioNTech  vaccine for use on children aged 5-11. 

In a tweet Saturday, Big Bird said he had been vaccinated against COVID.

“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 continued: “Ms. Erica R Hill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!”

CNN journalist Erica Hill on Saturday hosted a show called “The ABCs of COVID Vaccines,” which aimed to answer questions kids have about being vaccinated.

Big Bird’s tweet prompted attacks from Republicans, who said the character was being used as part of a bid to indoctrinate children. 

“Government propaganda … for your 5 year old!” tweeted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who along with other Republicans have broadly opposed vaccine mandates, despite persisting vaccine hesitancy in the US. An average of 1,217 people have died with COVID per day in the US over the past week.

Vaccines have been proven time and time again to be safe and effective in combatting COVID.

Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than vaccinated people, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed in October.

Biden vaccines

President Joe Biden congratulated Big Bird’s stance on vaccination.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

After Republican criticism, President Biden came to Big Bird’s defense, tweeting: “Good on ya, Big Bird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe.”

Following Cruz’s comments, other right-wingers had piled in to criticize Big Bird’s tweet, with Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe claiming it was “brainwashing children who are not at risk of COVID.”

Boothe’s claim was not accurate.

Though children are not as likely as adults to get seriously ill if they contract COVID, many have been hospitalized and 146 children under 11 have died of the disease, says the FDA.

Children can also infect others with the illness, and in the US “children 5 through 11 years of age make up 39% of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age,” says the agency. 

Following GOP attacks, some pointed to the fact that Big Bird has long been used to teach kids about the importance of health.

In a 1972 episode of Sesame Street, for example, Big Bird advocated that kids should be vaccinated against measles.