Sesame Street released a public service ad on Tuesday of Elmo talking about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz was not a fan.
The video shows the beloved children’s Muppet chatting with his father, Louie, after receiving the vaccine, saying he felt a “little pinch,” but that it was “OK.” After wondering himself about Elmo getting the COVID-19 shot, Louie said he talked to their pediatrician so he could “make the right choice.”
“I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, our neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love,” Louie said.
On Wednesday, Cruz first thanked Sesame Street for showing parents asking questions about the vaccine, but then turned his attention to Elmo, a character who is perpetually 3 years old.
“You then have @elmo aggressively advocate for vaccinating children UNDER 5. But you cite ZERO scientific evidence for this,” Cruz wrote, adding a link to his website.
Less than two weeks ago, thefor some 20 million babies, toddlers and preschoolers — children under the age of 5 — to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that runs Sesame Street, said in a statement that the clip — available in both Spanish and English — was produced in partnership with the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The video was just the latest in a series of spots that have featured Sesame Street Muppets promoting COVID-19 vaccination.
“Many parents understandably have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for young children, and we want to encourage them to ask questions and seek out information. With help from Elmo and his dad Louie, we want to model real conversations, encourage parents’ questions, and help children know what to expect,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop.
It’s not the first time Cruz has had a beef with a Sesame Street Muppet. After Big Bird tweeted in November that he received his COVID-19 shot,and called the tweet “propaganda.”