Big Bird Sparks Controversy With a Simple Tweet

The controversy over Big Bird’s COVID-19 vaccination status.


עדירל, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Muppet, Big Bird, tweeted that he had gotten the vaccine, which is now available for Americans between the ages of 5 and 11. He wrote, “My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy.” Mixed reviews arose from this tweet; some praising Big Bird’s affirmative action—President Biden and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky are among the few; while others were not as accommodating.

Big Bird is a Muppet from the iconic television series, Sesame Street, a light-hearted children’s show that has been airing continually on PBS since 1969. Over the years, the yellow puppet has become a staple for multiple generations as it adapts to its surroundings. 

The younger generations might have not viewed much of Sesame Street in their childhoods; however, the legacy of Big Bird lives through memes and other humorous tags. On the other hand, the older generations associate Big Bird with the nostalgic memories of a child waiting eagerly for the show to air. The experience of sitting in front of the television as the excitement bubbles while counting the clock down for the new episode is a common one. After all, Big Bird is synonymous with the beauty and innocence of childhood.

Though, recently people are tarnishing Big Bird’s name. 

Ted Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas, accused Big Bird of spreading government propaganda. In his tweet, he exclaimed, “Government propaganda…for your 5 year old!” While Big Bird is a fictional character and does not physically age, the show has revealed that Big Bird will indefinitely remain as a five-year-old. Cruz’s critical tweet came in response to Big Bird’s news of vaccination. 

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was critical of Big Bird’s vaccine tweet. (Gage Skidmore,, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

On November 6th, 2021, Big Bird tweeted, “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’s tweet followed Pfizer-BioNTech’s approval and recommendation of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11. 

However, great resistance to vaccine mandates and COVID-19 health guidelines have been increasing despite the fact that 862,494 Americans have died from COVD-19 as of this article’s publication; the global death toll is much higher. 

Yet Cruz has been in support of the anti-vaccine rhetoric that is being used to de-emphasize the severity of COVID-19. He, among other politicians, also undermined President Biden’s vaccine mandate, demeaning it as forceful and cruel.

Certainly, Ted Cruz is not the only outspoken American who publicly criticized the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Some GOP leaders are elevating vaccine misinformation while conservative hosts spew conspiracy theories.

Fox News contributor, Lisa Boothe tweeted, “Brainwashing children who are not at risk from COVID. Twisted,” in reference of Big Bird’s tweet. 

Steve Cortes, Newsmax host and former Trump advisor, went a step further and stated, “This kind of propaganda is actually evil,” Cortes wrote. “Your children are not statistically at risk, and should not be pressured into a brand new treatment. Do Not Comply!”

Both are issuing incorrect information. While children only exhibit mild symptoms, they are still able to spread COVID-19 to family members and immunocompromised people. Vaccinated children will help to prevent infections and hospitalization as well as lessen disruptions in their schooling. Overall, following proper COVID-19 regulations like wearing a mask and being fully vaccinated leads to a safer environment in our schools. 

These claims also neglect Big Bird’s long history of immunization. In a 1972 episode, Big Bird was vaccinated against measles. Additionally, Big Bird is not the only Sesame Street character to become vaccinated. Rosita, a female turquoise Muppet, also got vaccinated, promoting Sesame Street as an advocate for COVID-19 vaccines and on the journey to keep everyone safe.

While the majority of the opposition stems from the Republican party, there has been resistance towards vaccine regulations from Democrats as well. Democratic senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Jon Tester of Montana, voted against President Biden’s vaccine and testing requirement for private business with more than 100 employees. 

“I have long said we should incentivize, not penalize, private employers whose responsibility it is to protect their employees from COVID-19,” Manchin said in a statement, initially posted on Twitter. 

Tester released a statement stating, “Over the past few months, I’ve repeatedly heard concerns from Montana’s small business and community leaders about the negative effect the private business vaccine mandate will have on their bottom lines and our state’s economy,” Tester said. “That’s why I intend to join a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in defending Montana jobs and small businesses against these burdensome regulations.”

Maybe politicians are discouraging vaccines, but sometimes, it’s okay to listen to the trusty Big Bird, a pal who will never disappear. 

On November 6th, 2021, Big Bird tweeted, “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.”