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Spotted: Kathleen Sebelius and Elmo

By Ed O'Keefe

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with Sesame Street character Elmo at HHS headquarters on Friday.

The Obama administration has recruited yet another Sesame Street character to help push a policy initiative, this time new efforts to raise awareness about children's health and safety. In an obvious snub at Miss Piggy, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared earlier today with Elmo to launch a new public service announcement designed to encourage families with young children to protect themselves from swine flu.

HHS will team up with Sesame Workshop and the Ad Council, which will distribute the PSAs to television stations nationwide. Elmo will appear with Sesame Street character Gordon to instructing children to wash hands, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and sneezing into the bend of their arms. (For the record: The Eye was a big fan of Mr. Hooper.) The Sesame Street Web site now also includes a section on avoiding the flu that includes footage of the PSA.

Elmo is the second Muppet to partner with the Obama administration in recent months: Earlier this year Cookie Monster teamed up with with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to promote better nutrition and exercise among American children. First Lady Michelle Obama also recently appeared on an episode of "Sesame Street."

For more news on the health care reform debate, read The Post's Daily Dose.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 22, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Spotted  
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