‘Our president converses with puppets … he’s not real, Joe’: Biden responds to Big Bird tweet

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Under normal circumstances, it would be absurd to think a sitting U.S. president wouldn’t know that a Muppet character is not real. And under no interpretation are we suggesting that President Biden does not know this, but at the same time it’s understandable why some may joke about it.

What’s not a joking matter is COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5 to 11 years old. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5 years old after clinical trials with about 3,000 children, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deem the vaccines “safe for children.” Democrat-run San Francisco led the charge in announcing that the city plans to require children 5 and up to show proof of vaccine for some indoor activities in the near future.

To help grease the skids of this forced vaccination, Sesame Street’s Muppets characters were deployed to assure impressionable kids — and more importantly, parents — that all is well.

Elmo, Big Bird, and friends appeared Saturday morning with CNN’s Erica Hill and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as well as Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, to promote the vaccine. The characters would also turn to social media, with Big Bird tweeting: “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. Ms. @EricaRHill even said I’ve been getting vaccines since I was a little bird. I had no idea!”

And this is where our 78-year-old president, who appears to struggle with cognitive issues from time to time, entered the picture.

“Good on ya, @BigBird. Getting vaccinated is the best way to keep your whole neighborhood safe,” read a tweet posted on Biden’s official Twitter account.

How’s that for a full-throated propaganda campaign. Never mind that it’s clear now that those who have been vaccinated can still contract the virus AND spread it, with studies showing that the effectiveness of the vaccine diminishes over time.

Back in August, in the lead-up to booster shots, The Washington Post cited a trio of studies published by the CDC to report that the vaccines “show declining effectiveness against infection overall but strong protection against hospitalization.” The article quoted CDC director Rochelle Walensky: “Examining numerous cohorts through the end of July and early August, three points are now very clear. First, vaccine-induced protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time. Second, vaccine effectiveness against severe disease, hospitalization and death remains relatively high. And third, vaccine effectiveness is generally decreased against the delta variant.”

Additionally, according to a datasheet from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration published in late October, while the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to “prevent COVID-19 ICU stays” for 67 out of a million male children between the ages of five and 11, it’s expected to produce 57 stays because of myocarditis and/or pericarditis.

Back to Biden’s shameless attempt to elevate the voice of the Muppet characters to vaccinate children who are at little risk of serious complications from COVID-19, for many on social media it was just too much. Or, too easy to push back.

Here’s a sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Some Biden water carriers tried to defend their guy, claiming he was trolling Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, but there’s little to suggest there’s any truth to that argument.

Cruz had responded to the Big Bird tweet earlier to say: “Government propaganda…for your 5 year old!”

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Tom Tillison

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