As part of the recently launched effort to give COVID-19 vaccines to young children, taxpayer-funded PBS’ and its Sesame Street program deployed Big Bird to promote the shot among its target audience of young kids.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had lambasted that move as “propaganda,” sparking fierce blowback from Democrats, but the Republican senator has fired back by suggesting his liberal critics are “mentally ill,” Newsweek reported.
The use of Big Bird to push COVID-19 vaccines last week followed in the wake of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) granting emergency use authorization for a special pediatric version of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children age 5-11.
“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 fictional character tweeted from its official account and added that it had just learned that “I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!”
Sen. Cruz responded by sharing that tweet and added, “Government propaganda … for your 5 year old!”
Government propaganda…for your 5 year old! https://t.co/lKUlomnpq1
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 6, 2021
The leftist blowback was nearly instantaneous, prompting Cruz to quickly take to Twitter again to push back against his outraged critics, citing a variety of major issues that hadn’t provoked rage among liberals.
“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**,” he wrote.
“Mentally ill” liberals
Newsweek reported that Cruz also addressed the issue on his personal podcast. “It’s an amazing thing,” the senator said. “Liberals, I think, are genuinely like mentally ill.”
Similar to his tweet above, Cruz rattled off a list of issues that the left seems unperturbed by and said, “All the disasters that are happening, none of them matter,” and added, “But you mess with Big Bird — holy crap they lost it.”
“When it comes to vaccines it ought to be your choice,” Cruz explained.
The GOP senator added: “You ought to be the one making that decision and what we’re seeing from Joe Biden, what we’re seeing from a lot of big businesses, what we’re seeing from sports leagues, is they want to use government force to force you to comply. And when that comes to kids, I think that’s really pernicious.”