For decades, Big Bird has served as one of Sesame Street’s preeminent anchors, delivering the day’s hard-hitting news to the nation’s malleable young minds. From his informative report on athlete Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s math skills to his hot take on gendered bathrooms, America's information-hungry youths look to the large yellow avian to make sense of the world.
But over the weekend, feathers flew after Cruz condemned Big Bird for sharing his vaccination status on social media.
“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,” Big Bird wrote on Saturday, around a week after health officials authorized the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.
In response, Cruz slammed Big Bird’s post as “government propaganda.”
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.— Big Bird (@BigBird) November 6, 2021
Ms. @EricaRHill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!
On Monday, the 50-year-old senator pounced on the Muppet again, accusing him of being a pawn in liberals’ evil plot to save children’s lives from a deadly virus.
“We always knew the media were the Dems’ puppets, but this is getting ridiculous,” the Republican wrote.
Cruz kept the attacks coming in, refusing to let up on the scandal he’d helped to expose. When former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted a photo of herself in a green blazer, standing next to Big Bird, Cruz put his Twitter account to good use.
We always knew the media were the Dems’ puppets, but this is getting ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/MmYZxLQlqY— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 9, 2021
“Captured in the wild, rare image of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch…,” he wrote. (To be fair, coming from Cruz, that's comedy gold.)
Still, critics were quick to point out that in 2015, Cruz promoted inoculations. “Of course” children should be vaccinated, he reportedly said, adding that he’d signed up his own two daughters and that parents everywhere should follow suit.
Captured in the wild, rare image of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch… https://t.co/DfPZfApyaX— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 9, 2021
No matter. For days, Cruz kept picking fights with the fowl, and soon, a parody social media account cropped up called “Big Bird for Senate.”
Thanks to Cruz’s prodding, the fictitious Big Bird decided to challenge the Republican when he’s up for reelection in 2024. In a press release, the Muppet acknowledged his status as the “underbird” but assured Texans that he’d be a lot more loyal.
“Unlike Ted Cruz,” he said, “I won’t fly away to Cancun when Texas is in trouble.”
Unlike Ted Cruz, I won’t fly away to Cancun when Texas is in trouble.— Big Bird for Senate (Parody) (@SenatorBigBird) November 7, 2021