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Sen. Ted Cruz again targets Sesame Street, this time for Elmo’s COVID shot

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 6/29/2022 By Cayla Harris, Austin Bureau
Elmo greets guests during a Sesame Street event on Sept. 14, 2019, in New York. (Anna Webber/Getty Images for H&M/TNS) © Anna Webber, HODELETE60 / TNS

Elmo greets guests during a Sesame Street event on Sept. 14, 2019, in New York. (Anna Webber/Getty Images for H&M/TNS)

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is again taking issue with the Muppets of “Sesame Street” over COVID vaccines.

First, it was Big Bird, the 6-year-old yellow-feathered friend who was vaccinated last November. Cruz called the announcement “government propaganda," fueling a skit on “Saturday Night Live.”

His adversary this time? Elmo, age 3 and a half — and his dad, Louie, who took Elmo to get the shot just days after the United States authorized the vaccine for children under 5.

“I had a lot of questions about Elmo getting the COVID vaccine,” Louie said in a video posted to Sesame Street’s Twitter. “Was it safe? Was it the right decision? I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice. I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”

Video: ‘Sesame Street’ celebrates the importance of quality time with dads (TODAY)


Cruz shared the clip to his own account, thanking Sesame Street “for saying that parents are allowed to have questions!” But he then railed against the children’s show for having Elmo “aggressively advocate for vaccinating children UNDER 5.”

“You cite ZERO scientific evidence for this,” he tweeted.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the Moderna and Pfizer shots for children ages 6 months to 5 years on June 18. The announcement, which came after what the agency described as “the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history,” expanded eligibility to an estimated 20 million children across the country, according to a press release issued that day.

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can.”


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